Federal grants bring Raleigh-Richmond high-speed rail line into service with $58 million to start work

Check it out: A new high-speed rail line will connect two major southern cities, Raleigh, North Carolina and Richmond, Virginia, as reported by Travel + Leisure. That means you can indulge in sweets at the Videri Chocolate Factory in Raleigh, then hop on a train to chase it down with a pint from a craft brewery on the Richmond Beer Trail.

A $58 million federal grant has been awarded to begin engineering work on the rail corridor between Raleigh and Petersburg, Va., reports PA Newswith plans to eventually expand to Richmond.

Such an undertaking will not happen overnight; officials estimate that within the next three to seven years, trains capable of accelerating to 110 mph will begin making stops in Wake Forest, North Carolina. The line will eventually create intercity passenger rail service on a state-owned route that will connect underserved communities and improve Amtrak’s Silver Meter travel times.

The grant was part of the much larger $368 million Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements grant program announced by the Biden administration, which is funding 46 projects in 32 states and the District of Columbia. “These investments will play a critical role in modernizing our country’s rail infrastructure and strengthening supply chains, helping to reduce congestion and get people and goods where they need to go quickly and cheaply. cost,” reads the U.S. Department of Transportation. announcement.

Other winners include Georgia; Baltimore, Maryland; southwest Kansas; Florida begging; Michigan’s Great Lakes Corridor; and the University of Delaware, which is partnering with historically black Morgan University to create a railway engineering degree program.

At a time when other states like California are trying to line up their high-speed rail ducks, this plan looks promising for updating America’s rail transportation infrastructure.

Jose P. Rogers