HB 2275: What had been at risk
Changing the purpose of IPROC could greatly jeopardize:
• The continued operation of Virginia’s Amtrak Regional trains which serve ;
• The expansion of Amtrak Regional service to Roanoke;
• The expansion of Amtrak Regional trains 2 and 3 to Norfolk and Petersburg;
• The expansion of Amtrak Regional train 2 to Lynchburg and Charlottesville;
• The Newport News and Piedmont Amtrak Regional rail improvements;
• And, the further expansion of Amtrak Regional train 3 to Williamsburg and Newport News; as well as Amtrak Regional trains 4, 5, and 6 to Petersburg and South Hampton Roads.
• The construction of higher speed passenger rail connecting Washington, Richmond, and Hampton Roads.
The Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce and its members, as a part of a coalition of rail advocates, helped defeat a bill in late January that threatened regional train service.
The piece of legislation, HB 2275, sought to take money from Virginia’s Intercity Passenger Rail Operating and Capital Fund, putting it toward
other transportation modes. The Chamber strongly opposed the bill which would have augmented operating and capital needs for the Fredericksburg to Washington, D.C. by diverting funds from Hampton Roads regional trains.
In order to defeat the bill, members of the Chamber rallied to respond a Legislative Alert, coordinated with the rest of the coalition. Members stressed to their elected officials the serious impact to citizens, with more than three quarters of the population served by the six regional trains. The campaign quickly swayed the bill’s patron who withdrew the bill in committee.
This is successful endeavor is typical of the Chamber’s advocacy efforts on behalf of the business community, taking action to protect and improve our region’s quality of life and competitiveness. Had the campaign not worked, more than a decade of collaborative work would have been undermined.
The coalition previously sought to bring passenger rail service back to South Hampton Roads culminating in commitment of State funding for rail service to Norfolk at Harbour Part 2011. Additionally, the General Assembly agreed to a funding agreement for the future operation of the commuter trains for the region, to include the Peninsula, as well as Lynchburg and Roanoke.