The Southeast High-Speed Rail Corridor received a significant boost last week with NCDOT being awarded a $57.9 million grant towards the Raleigh-to-Richmond leg of the corridor.
The money will go towards preliminary design for the entire route, preliminary engineering for returning missing tracks north of Ridgeway to the Virginia State Line, and funding for removing at-grade crossings in Wake County.
The high-speed rail corridor between Raleigh and Richmond is along CSX's S-Line. The line is currently used in some areas for freight traffic. 10 miles of the line are abandoned in North Carolina and another 65 in Virginia. Both states used prior grant money to negotiate a purchase of the abandoned right-of-way in 2019.
When complete the corridor will allow for trains that can go at speeds up to 110 mph. It would also cut the rail travel time between Raleigh and Richmond by two hours.
NCDOT has stated that the tracks could be fully active anywhere between 2025 and 2029; however, that seems overly optimistic. Regardless, the grant awarding is a significant step forward.
- Starling, Richard. "Feds provide another big chunk of money for Raleigh-Richmond high-speed rail." Raleigh News-Observer. June 2, 2022
- Duncan, Charles. "Raleigh-to-Richmond rail line gets $58 million boost from the feds." Spectrum News North Carolina. June 1, 2022