The second of a series of five public hearings on an environmental impact study on the route for a federal high speed rail project through Ashland and Hanover was held last night at Patrick Henry High School.
There are three proposals under consideration. A “trench option” running an open tunnel under Ashland; a western bypass through the county; and the 3-2-3 option that would have three tracks narrow to two through the town. Before the meeting, County Supervisors passed a resolution in favor of 3-2-3.
Supervisor Bucky Stanley represents the Beaverdam District.
"I don’t think it’s the worst thing in the world, it may not be the best, but I think it’s a good stop gap measure because they’re not going to do this thing for many, many years down the road and the technology may come through and they’ll be able to put a tunnel through without a lot of problems."
Ashland Mayor Jim Foley said 3-2-3 would eventually leave the decision in the hands of state and federal officials. CSX has already said adding more passenger trains on two tracks would hurt freight customers.