On September 27, the U.S. Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood, announced that $48.3 million would be awarded to Virginia and North Carolina to advance the development of the Southeast High-Speed Rail Corridor. High-speed rail will connect Raleigh, NC, to Washington, DC via Richmond, Va. The money is expected to ultimately spur high-speed and intercity passenger rail development as far south as Charlotte, NC, and Atlanta, Ga., and to Hampton Roads.
"Thanks to the investments we are making today, Americans across the Southeast will have convenient access to faster, more efficient passenger rail connecting to destinations all along the Northeast Corridor," said Secretary LaHood. "Passenger rail will also help alleviate traffic along congested sections of I-95, foster economic development and provide Americans with a greener, cleaner, more sustainable way to travel."
Virginia will receive $44.3 million. The state will use its portion of the money for environmental analysis and preliminary engineering to prepare for the construction of the Southeast High-Speed Rail Corridor between Washington and Richmond. The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation will contribute $11.1 million toward this project.
The remaining $4 million will go to North Carolina for environmental and design work for the construction of a new connection between Raleigh and Richmond. The new connection could reduce travel time to just two hours between the two cities.