Southeast High-Speed Rail Corridor
Type: Railroad alignment and crossing improvements
Affected Counties: Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, Rowan, Davidson, Randolph, Guilford, Alamance, Orange, Durham, Wake, Franklin, Vance, Warren
Estimated Cost: over $7 Billion
The Southeast High-Speed Rail Corridor (SEHSR) is a high-speed passenger-rail corridor that is planned from Washington, D.C., through Richmond, Virginia, and to Raleigh and Charlotte, North Carolina. It is one of five originally proposed high-speed passenger-rail corridors designated by the U.S. Department of Transportation in 1992 and is part of an overall plan to extend service from existing high-speed rail in the northeast to the southeast.
The Southeast High-Speed Rail Corridor has been extended to cities in Georgia, Florida and Alabama.
The project is still in the planning phase, and changes are still being made to the route, the timeline for completion and the budget. Estimates for construction between Washington and Charlotte are between $2.6 and $7.5 billion. Costs for other portions of the corridor have not been determined.
U.S. DOT officials say that the project will improve transportation and shipping throughout the region. Other expected benefits include increased tax revenues and new jobs.
Portions of the Southeast High-Speed Rail Corridor will be built on existing track, and upgrades will be made to improve safety. The SEHSR will have maximum speeds of 110 mph when it is completed, though average speeds are expected to be 86 mph.
The project timeline depends upon the findings of feasibility studies, funding and other critical components. However, estimates for completing the rail in North Carolina and Virginia are between 2018 and 2022.
- September 2012: A public hearing was held in Henderson, North Carolina, to provide updates in response to comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement. Revisions were made to portions of the corridor, including proposed bridges and underpasses.
- May 2012: Officials from North Carolina and Virginia present to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) their recommendations for preferred rail alternatives for the section of corridor between Richmond, Virginia, and Raleigh, North Carolina.
- April 2012: A Recommendation Report is published that provides recommendations from the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation and the North Carolina Department of Transportation to the Federal Railroad Administration for the preferred rail alternatives for each of the 26 sections of the Southeast High-Speed Rail between Richmond and Raleigh.
After a series of public hearings in the summer 2010 that included the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NC DOT) and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT), transportation officials devised several alternative routes for the portion of the Southeast High-Speed Rail Corridor that runs from Richmond,VA, to Raleigh,NC:
After a series of public hearings in the summer 2010 that included the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NC DOT) and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT), transportation officials devised several alternative routes for the portion of the Southeast High-Speed Rail Corridor that runs from Richmond,VA, to Raleigh, NC:
Right-of-way acquisitions are set to begin in 2013, though no information has been released about what kind of budget has been set for property takings. The DOT also has not released information about how many properties may be affected by the rail in North Carolina.
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