Virginia’s Approach to
Innovative Intercity Passenger
Rail Development
and Funding
Kevin B. Page
Chief Operating Officer
Virginia Department of Rail and Public
Transportation
September 24, 2013
www.drpt.virginia.gov
High Speed Rail Map
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Federal High Speed Rail Projects
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Amtrak Corridor Services –PRIIA
NEC Spine: Excluded from Section 209
State Supported Routes: Require consistent agreements under Section 209
System Corridor Routes: Require new agreements, no state support in place
Mixed State/System Routes: Requires conversion of system trains to state support
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What do These Map Segments
Represent for Virginia?
 Richmond to Washington, D.C. $1.8B
– MAS 90 MPH
 Richmond to Hampton Roads $.5B
– MAS 90 MPH
 Richmond to Raleigh $2.4B cost, $1.3B in
VA
– MAS 110 MPH
 VA must pay for all regional Amtrak
service or lose six daily round trip trains
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State Rail Agency Challenges
Justify the Decision to Pay for It
 Balancing the perception of what should be achieved
with the reality of what can be achieved.
 Wait for the federal program or go it alone.
– Advancing intercity passenger rail incrementally utilizing
limited state resources while continuing project readiness in
preparation for a sustainable federal program for high speed
intercity passenger rail development
 Retaining existing regional intercity passenger rail in
the advent of PRIIA Section 209
– Virginia is one of a small handful of states that appear ready
for October 2013 implementation
 To find the money, one must find their place in the
transportation arena.
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Virginia Highway and Rail Miles
Competition or Part of an Overall
Transportation System?
80,000
69,114
70,000
57,865
System Mileage
60,000
50,000
40,000
30,000
20,000
10,000
7,191
4,395
3,929
3,365
0
1930
1970
Rail Miles
2007
Highway Miles
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Virginia Gets It
 Virginia’s Passenger and Freight Rail System is perceived as an
integral part of the Commonwealth’s Transportation System
 Virginia has some of the most innovative codified rail funding
programs in the United States
– 1987 Rail Industrial Access Fund – HCF funded annually
– 2005 Rail Enhancement Fund – dedicated funding
– 2007 Rail Preservation and Development Fund (budget funded
since 1992)
– 2008 Rail Capital Bonds for REF and RPF
– 2011 Intercity Passenger Rail Operating and Capital Fund
(dedicated funding provided 2013)
 Virginia initiated intercity passenger rail service starts
– 2009 – Lynchburg
– 2010 – Richmond
– 2012 – Norfolk
– Within 4 years – Roanoke
– Within 10 years – Trains 2 and 3 Norfolk
 Through the support of the State Legislature and the
Administration, DRPT continues to position Virginia to achieve a
greater vision on passenger and freight rail development.
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Setting Up a Passenger Rail Program
 PRIIA 2008 Section 209 was a game changer for
Virginia
 DRPT reacted quickly to begin setting up a funding
program for regional intercity passenger rail and
capital development of expanding conventional
service and higher speed rail
 Virginia followed a three step approach to program
development
– SJ63 2010 called for DRPT to study and recommend funding
strategies for state sponsored intercity and high speed passenger
rail. Report published as Senate Document 14 of the VA General
Assembly
– 2011 DRPT authors legislation to establish the Intercity Passenger
Rail Operating and Capital Fund (IPROC) and provided 2 years of
funding for stop gap security to start Amtrak Section 209 funding
– 2013 Landmark transportation funding legislation includes dedicated
funding for IPROC
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2013 Transportation Funding Bill
HB2313 – Finance Intercity Passenger Rail
 Impact to DRPT
– $300 million for the Dulles Metrorail Corridor Extension
– Designated revenue source for Intercity Passenger Rail
Operating and Capital Fund (IPROC) – Approx. $44.3M in
the first year
• Operating funds for continued and expanded Intercity
Passenger Rail Service
– Extension of passenger train service to Roanoke
– Addition of trains 2 & 3 for Norfolk-Washington route
• Capital funds for Intercity Passenger Rail Projects
– Track Performance Improvements
» Newport News-Richmond
» Richmond-Washington
– Increase of transit funding
• Approximately $66.5M in the first year
– Funding - 3% statewide sales tax increase and increased
MTTF dollars from the TTF
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2013 DRPT Legislative Actions
HB1828 – Position the Agency
 Codifies the Supreme Court decision that a state’s rail
system does provide a highway benefit
 Authorizes the Department of Rail and Public
Transportation to acquire and hold title to land for
constructing rail infrastructure
 Currently DRPT may lease, construct and improve rail
infrastructure, but is not expressly authorized to own
rail infrastructure.
 This legislation adds the authority for DRPT to hold title
to abandoned rail way and to preserve it for future rail
development.
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Virginia Rail System
–
–
Two passenger rail operators – Amtrak and Virginia Railway Express
Eleven freight railroads –
•
•
Two national Class I Railroads: Norfolk Southern and CSX
Nine local shortline railroads
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Corridor Passenger and
Freight Rail Initiatives
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Shortline Initiatives
Rail Preservation and Development Program
 9 shortlines in VA
 Provide “last mile” service
 Maintain FRA class 2 standards
– safety, signaling and reliability
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Passenger Rail Service In Virginia
Present and Future


Amtrak VA – Lynchburg, Richmond/Norfolk
Amtrak Regional – 2 Newport News, 2 Richmond




All go into Northeast Corridor
All same seat to Boston
Amtrak Long Distance – Cardinal, Crescent, Carolinian, Palmetto, Silver Meteor, Silver Star
Auto Train
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Virginia Regional Amtrak Passenger
Service Projected Population Areas
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Set the Vision and Show How to Get There
States Need a Rail Plan and a
Resource Allocation Plan
 Virginia’s Rail Plan is accompanied by a Resource
Allocation Plan
 Rail Plans need a vision of greater than the Six Year
Improvement Program
– Constrained Six Year Program
– 2035-2040 longer range vision plan of projects
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Virginia State Rail Plan
Intercity Passenger Rail
 Amtrak Virginia Near Future
- 1 Lynchburg train extended to Roanoke (approx. 2016 - 2017)
- 2 Richmond trains extended to Norfolk (approx. 2022)
 Amtrak Virginia Future
- 1 new train to Lynchburg
- 1 Roanoke train extended to Bristol
- 1 Lynchburg train extended to Roanoke
- 1 new train Richmond to Lynchburg
 Richmond to Hampton Roads Passenger Rail
– 1 new to Newport News + 6 total Norfolk from Richmond
 SEHSR – 4 new trains DC to Raleigh
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Virginia’s Second Path
Federal Funding
 In order to achieve the vision for higher speed
passenger rail in Virginia, a strong federal participation
is necessary, but comes with requirements:
– Lengthy federal environmental process can require more than
eight years to complete
– Performance requirements are difficult to achieve without full
funding for corridor-wide improvements
– Opportunities to apply for funding limited and may not
coincide with planning/construction phases
 State-funded projects can advance faster, but not
sufficient state funding available to meet all needs
 On some projects, states may need to join forces
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Virginia-North Carolina Interstate
High-Speed Rail Compact
Two States Join Forces
 Established in 1994 in VA by SB 126 2004 and in NC by NC General
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Statutes - Chapter 136 Article 18 § 136-220
Made up of ten members of the VA and NC legislature
To study, develop, and promote a plan for the design, construction,
financing, and operation of interstate high-speed rail service through
and between points in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the State of
North Carolina and adjacent states
To coordinate efforts to establish high-speed rail service at the
federal, state, and local governmental levels
To advocate for federal funding to support the establishment of highspeed interstate rail service within and through Virginia and North
Carolina and to receive federal funds made available for rail
development
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Points of Discussion for Passenger Rail
Development and Funding
 What is the policy for passenger rail development and funding for your
state?
 Affordability of conventional incremental service development VS high
speed rail development – What can you deliver?
– State Program
• Establish a good working relationship with railroads by
establishing Framework Agreements
• Incremental State service can be implemented quickly
• Track capacity is achieved through agreements, service is
operated by Amtrak under Amtrak’s access and performance
agreements already in place
– Federal Program
• 20% capital match to FRA grants, 20 year Maintenance of Project
Commitment, 20 year commitment to fund additional service
operations, Corridor Service Development Programs VS individual
projects (commitment to build entire corridor VS segments)
• Risk/Payback - Performance payback (on time performance), loss
of passenger service payback (all Amtrak service ceases), and
failure to provide additional service payback (additional trains
committed)
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To Get to the Funding, You Need a Plan
 Need for a National Rail Plan
– Guiding principles on defining passenger and freight rail
development
• High speed intercity passenger rail and at what speed – is it comingled with freight as high capacity corridors or right-of-way of
its own?
• What is the federal role and participation both in planning and
function?
 What is the definition of your state’s passenger rail
corridors?
– Do your corridor improvements benefit other states
or are they joint freight and passenger rail projects?
 Be able to answer the sequencing of individual
projects and who will pay for the improvements.
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Key Points Regarding Funding
 Innovative financing for passenger rail begins with trust
of the administration and legislature and the ability to
deliver. Virginia is competing nationally for federal
funds but has some advantages:
– Framework agreements in place with railroads
– Agreement with Amtrak for state sponsored passenger rail
service under PRIIA Section 209
– State funding program for rail capital and intercity passenger rail
operating projects
– VA High Speed Rail Corridor program links the Northeast
Corridor
Virginia has PPTA and PPEA business models in place for
innovative private and public venture partnerships.
Virginia has sustainable rail programs that continue to
provide and expand passenger rail.
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Thank You!
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Tuesday - 900-1015 Page SCORT Meeting KP Final