Governor pledges to fight for high speed rail

By Rachel DePompa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Virginia has applied for $1.6 billion in federal funds to bring rapid rail from Washington D.C. to greater Richmond. The problem is dozens of other states are also staking a claim on the money.

Today Virginia Governor Tim Kaine made his case for the Commonwealth. One day, trains leaving Ashland could be going 90 miles an hour. Trips from Richmond to D.C. could take less than 90 minutes. That's if Virginia is awarded money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

"This is a natural. Everybody in the region is behind this project," said David Kaechele, Henrico County Board of Supervisors.

"People will live in Richmond and work in Washington even more so than they do now,"  Mayor Dwight Jones.

The state is asking for money to build a new 12-mile stretch in Prince William County and to improve the tracks from Petersburg to northern Virginia. The governor says the rapid rail would take 1.4 million cars off the highways.

"We cannot grow as a community in the way we need to purely off I-95. We have to have more vigorous rail and public transit options to be all that we can be," Kaine said.

The federal government will announce which states have won the first round of grants this fall.

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