Virginia to boost passenger rail service to DC

Virginia is planning a $3.7 billion effort to boost passenger rail service between the state and Washington, D

RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia is planning a $3.7 billion effort to boost passenger rail service between the state and Washington, D.C. as part of an effort to lessen congestion in one of the country's worst areas for traffic.

He said the investment would remove 5 million cars and 1 million trucks from Virginia highways and lessen gridlock in the state's northern suburbs and along Interstate 95.

“We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make our rail system work better for everyone, both in Virginia and along the entire East Coast,” Northam said in a statement.

Improving northern Virginia's notoriously bad traffic has been a top priority for elected officials for years. Northam and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced plans last month to rebuild and widen a bridge that connects the two states in order to improve traffic on the Capital Beltway.

Currently, passenger trains are often delayed because of freight cars using the only available tracks between Virginia and the district. CSX owns the more-than-a-century-old bridge all trains use to cross the river, which only has two tracks and is at 98% capacity in peak times, officials said.