Transforming Rail in Virginia

Our capital and infrastructure improvement program, Transforming Rail in Virginia, consists of more than a dozen projects that will connect communities and enhance mobility for all Virginians. Select from the gallery below to learn more about each project, or use the interactive map.

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Alexandria Fourth Track
Aquia Creek Third Track South (Siding E)
Crossroads Third Track (Siding F)
Franconia to Lorton Third Track
Franconia-Springfield Bypass
Hanover Third Track (Siding C)
L’Enfant Fourth Track and Station Improvements
Long Bridge Project
Neabsco Creek to Woodbridge Third Track (Siding D)
New River Valley Passenger Rail Station
Potomac Creek Third Track South (Siding A)
Woodford to Milford Third Track (Siding B)

Transforming Rail in Virginia is changing the future of rail transportation in Virginia by acquiring railroad right-of-way, increasing rail capacity, and reworking passenger and freight operations to improve reliability and increase rail service in Virginia.

CAPACITY
Develop capital improvement projects, including the new Long Bridge, and acquire railroad track and right-of-way to provide more rail capacity

QUALITY
Expand high-quality, modern passenger rail service across the Commonwealth by making it more frequent, reliable, and convenient

CHOICE
Provide additional choice in moving people and goods efficiently through transportation corridors in Virginia while accommodating growing travel demand

Transforming Rail in Virginia will . . .

  • Double Amtrak service in Virginia
  • Provide hourly Amtrak service between Richmond, and Washington, DC
  • Increase Amtrak service to Roanoke and then extend Amtrak service to the New River Valley
  • Increase Virginia Railway Express (VRE) service along the I-95 corridor by 75%, with more service in the peak period and additional late-night and weekend service
  • Increase Amtrak service to Newport News and Norfolk
  • Lay the foundation to make the Southeast High-Speed Rail (SEHSR) corridor possible through the acquisition of the out-of-service S-Line, which runs from Petersburg into North Carolina
  • Preserve the existing freight corridor between Doswell and Clifton Forge for future east-west passenger service

In December 2019, then-Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced a landmark rail agreement between the Commonwealth and CSX Transportation (CSXT), based on the execution of a legally binding term sheet. This announcement became the catalyst for what we know today as Transforming Rail in Virginia.

Between December 2019 and March 2021, Virginia and CSXT refined the term sheet into legally-definitive agreements. Through the agreement with CSXT, Virginia acquired 384 miles of CSXT right-of-way and 223 miles of track in rail corridors paralleling I-95, I-64, and I-85. The definitive agreement was announced at an event on March 30, 2021, with Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg. The agreement includes approximately:

  • Half of the CSXT-owned railroad right-of-way between Washington, DC, and Petersburg
  • All of the CSXT-owned (but out of service) right-of-way between Petersburg and Ridgeway, NC
  • Nearly all of the CSXT-owned right-of-way between Doswell and Clifton Forge
  • Track within the right-of-way purchased by Virginia also becomes Virginia property

In 2020, the Virginia General Assembly created the Virginia Passenger Rail Authority (VPRA)—a new, independent authority dedicated to managing, funding, and growing passenger rail services.

Staying true to the Transforming Rail in Virginia vision, VPRA continues to seek opportunities to expand and enhance passenger rail across Virginia. On May 5, 2021, Governor Northam announced that the Commonwealth reached an agreement with Norfolk Southern Railway to expand passenger rail to southwest Virginia. In partnership with Norfolk Southern Railway, the Commonwealth is acquiring 28.5 miles of the Norfolk Southern-owned right-of-way from the Salem Crossovers to Christiansburg. The acquisition of railroad right-of-way and tracks, along with infrastructure improvements and improved operations, will allow for the expansion of high-quality passenger rail services. As Transforming Rail in Virginia expands, so, too, will connections to reliable, safe, and sustainable transportation and the scope of the program as a whole.

Rail Infrastructure Improvement Projects

Service Enhancements  

Service Enhancements Map
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Phase 1 & 2 Improvements and Highlights

VA-Amtrak-CSX-VRE-Highlights
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Program Highlights between Manassas and the New River Valley

VA-Norfolk Southern Partnership Highlights
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Partners

Program Partners

Amtrak
CSXT Transportation
Norfolk Southern Corporation
Virginia Railway Express (VRE)