NEWS RELEASE – June 7, 2022
Photo Courtesy of Christopher Ziemnowicz
Will make station ADA-compliant
RICHMOND— The Virginia Passenger Rail Authority (VPRA) is pleased to announce that it was recently awarded a $6.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to make upgrades to Petersburg’s Ettrick train station located in Chesterfield County, Virginia.
The grant, part of the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) grants program, will fund substantial enhancements to the passenger experience including improvements to the station building, parking, and lighting.
ADA accessibility will be improved from the parking lot to the station and from the station to the platform and trains.A new 850-foot platform will be constructed to provide passengers with safe access to trains. Other projects include the replacement of the canopy over the platform, a new wheelchair lift enclosure, and a covered walkway. Inside the station, projects include a new ticket window, lighting repairs, and new restroom doors. All interior and exterior signage will also be replaced.
“At VPRA, our mission is to increase the quality of rail services for all passengers to make us a reliable transportation option for all, including those with physical impairments,” said DJ Stadtler, executive director of VPRA. “We have worked closely with the FRA and Amtrak to make plans for Ettrick Station that will utilize our grant money to offer additional accommodations, truly enhancing Virginian’s lives and travel options.”
“It is a great day for the community of Ettrick. The improvements to the train station will enhance the area while we work to increase future ridership,” said Kevin Carroll, Chesterfield Board of Supervisor for Matoaca District. “We appreciate the support of our federal delegation to see these additional monies come to Chesterfield and help improve an important transportation asset in our community.”
The total budget for all station upgrades is $10.6 million with $6.4 million coming from the CRISI grant and the remaining funding to be provided by VPRA. Current plans call for construction to begin in 2024 and continue through 2025. When complete, the upgrades are expected to attract 10,050 new passengers to the Petersburg station.
The Ettrick Station serves 30,000 passengers per year with six roundtrips trains daily. Two roundtrips are Virginia-sponsored service with a third roundtrip scheduled to begin this summer. Petersburg provides a link to Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor with service to Richmond, Washington, DC and points north including New York City and Boston. It also connects to the Southeast Rail Corridor and planned improvements to the Ettrick platform will allow for the future installation of a third track to accommodate potential additional frequencies between Richmond to Raleigh.
VPRA is working throughout the Commonwealth to improve and expand the rail options available to Virginians. Currently the state supports Amtrak service to Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, and Newport News. Ridership on these services was up 26.7 percent in April 2022, compared to March with a total of 70,433 passengers traveling. Ridership on the Norfolk routes, which stop in Petersburg, exceeded April 2019 (pre-pandemic) levels.
About Virginia Passenger Rail Authority
The Virginia Passenger Rail Authority was established in 2020 to promote, sustain, and expand the availability of passenger and commuter rail service in the Commonwealth. VPRA is committed to delivering passenger rail service as an integrated, affordable, and convenient travel option and plays a critical role in mitigating current and future traffic congestion on Virginia’s highways, promoting economic development, and connecting communities by increasing passenger rail capacity, services, and ridership.