State Holds Hearings on High Speed Rail
State officials have hosted public hearings this week to determine the best route for high-speed rail expansion through the Commonwealth. Craig Carper reports.
High-speed rail is quantified in the U.S. as 90 to 110 miles per hour. High-speed service lines currently stretch from Boston to D.C. There are multi-phase plans in development to extend that service to Jacksonville, Florida. The phase being developed now is a route from Raleigh, North Carolina to Main Street Station here in Richmond.
Much of the track reserved for the project already exists. Hundreds of citizens from around the region have been participating in public forums this week to share their input on what path the undeveloped segments of the route should take.
Thelma Drake is the Director of the Department of Rail and Public Transportation, who organized the forums. She says the events have drawn a positive response.
Drake: People are very supportive of the project. There’s been other types of comments made like a greenway corridor for bicyclists, asking that we include that. We had a few folks from the Hampton Roads region very supportive for the Richmond to Raleigh service, but asking that we continue to work on the service into Norfolk.
Drake says that defining the route will take about 2 years. After that, the next challenge will be finding funding for construction.
A final forum will be held tonight at Southside Elementary School in Dinwiddie County. The event is scheduled for 5-9pm.
Craig Carper, WCVE News, Capitol Square