CSX-Virginia rail deal also means good news for N Carolina
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A multi-billion-dollar deal between CSX Corp. and Virginia to improve passenger rail service to and from Washington, D.C., also includes good news for efforts to run high-speed trains between Virginia and North Carolina.
The freight railroad has agreed to let the North Carolina Department of Transportation acquire about 10 miles (16 kilometers) of railroad right-of-way in Warren County to the Virginia line, The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Monday. This is on top of 65 miles (104.6 kilometers) of CSX line that Virginia will acquire north of the border to near Petersburg, Virginia.
The land would be key toward meeting a goal of 110 mph passenger trains between Raleigh and Richmond, Virginia. The two states have been planning for over 25 years on how to create such a service.
“Virginia’s step forward here sets us up for a transaction on our side of the border,” said Jason Orthner, the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s rail director. Orthner said how the department will acquire the Warren County right-of-way and how much it will cost are unclear.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced last week that CSX had agreed to sell 350 miles (563 kilometers) of right-of-way to his state, including 225 miles (362 kilometers) of track.