So, now get this. Virginia is about to launch rail service from Lynchburg to Washington DC, and it's part of a test to see how VA would benefit from more rail options. Why can't this happen here in the Buckeye State?
Virginia launches its first state-funded intercity passenger train Thursday from Lynchburg to Washington, a move that will enhance mass-transit options for Northern Virginia commuters and people across the state.It's sad that in one of the largest cities in the US (Columbus), there is no intercity rail service, nor is there any kind of commuter rail whatsoever. If Lynchburg, VA can get it (and St. Cloud, MN; Madison, WI; Portland, OR; etc.)...why can't we?
The new service is part of a $17.2 million, three-year pilot program the state is running, and fully funding, to determine whether enhanced rail service is viable in Virginia. The pilot program will offer two trains, one from Richmond and one from Lynchburg, that will travel to Union Station and then on to Boston. Service between the Virginia terminuses and Washington will include stops at some Virginia Railway Express stations; service between Washington and Boston will include stops in Philadelphia and New York.
However, the train set to run from Richmond will not launch until Dec. 15 because the necessary infrastructure improvements -- about $78 million worth -- are not complete, said Jennifer Pickett, a spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation. She noted that $43 million in improvements were completed so that the Lynchburg service could begin."This is a pilot project. It is the beginning of something, not the end of something," said Sharon Bulova (D), chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. "We are going to see this grow."