On November 16, 2023, Virginians for High Speed Rail (VHSR), the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC), RVA757 Connects, Greater Washington Partnership (GWP) and New River Valley (NRV) Passenger Rail shared the report, “Virginia Passenger Rail: Keys to Further Success,” a comprehensive examination of the current state of passenger rail in Virginia and a roadmap for its expansion and enhancement. This collaborative effort brings together experts, advocates, and community leaders to address the critical need for a more robust and efficient rail system in the Commonwealth.
Passenger rail in Virginia has been incredibly successful and garnered strong bi-partisan support in efforts to move people to places and to work. Over the last three decades, Amtrak has handled over 33.6 million trips in Virginia while VRE has carried more than 95.7 million passengers. Combined, these 129.3 million trips avoided an estimated 15.1 billion miles people would have traveled on our roads, reducing fuel consumption by 303.2 million gallons, and preventing the release of 5.9 billion pounds of carbon emissions as well as other tailpipe pollutants.
Additionally Virginia’s Amtrak and VRE trains have generated over $16.3 billion in economic benefits for the Commonwealth during that time span. The Report lays out the path for how our passenger trains will provide even greater benefits over the next three decades.