A New High-speed Train Will Soon Connect Virginia and North Carolina

The train will connect Raleigh and Richmond.

A dreamy cityscape of Raleigh, North Carolina with train tracks in the foreground.
Photo: Mark Howard/Getty Images

A new high-speed rail line between neighbors North Carolina and Virginia is in the works — to the tune of nearly $58 million.

The new project, which is being funded as part of a federal Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements grant, will conduct surveys and "complete preliminary engineering" work to improve the section between Raleigh, N.C., and Richmond, VA., according to North Carolina Rep. David Price, the chairman of the Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee. A grade separation will also be constructed on the S-Line in Wake Forest, N.C.

Over the next three to seven years, officials hope to have passenger trains capable of going 110 mph begin stopping in Wake Forest, North Carolina's Transportation Department Rail Division director Jason Orthner told The Associated Press.

"Developing intercity passenger rail service along the 'S-Line' corridor will drastically improve economic mobility, bolster safety, and reduce highway congestion between Raleigh and Richmond," Price said in a statement, calling the project a "critical effort that will reap benefits for generations to come."

Eventually, the new line would create a new intercity passenger rail service on a state-owned route that would connect currently underserved communities as well as improve travel times on the existing Amtrak Silver Meteor service, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) Federal Railroad Administration.

Overall, the CRISI program was created to "help fund projects that improve intercity passenger and freight rail transportation safety, efficiency, and reliability."

Beyond North Carolina and Virginia, more than $368 million in CRISI grants have been awarded across the country, including improvement projects in Georgia, Florida, and Kansas, as well as the creation of an HBCU-based railroad engineering program for underrepresented communities.

"Americans deserve a world-class rail system that allows people and goods to get where they need to go more quickly and affordably, while reducing traffic and pollution on our roads," Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in the DOT announcement. "We're proud to award these grants to improve passenger rail for riders and strengthen the freight rail that makes our supply chains and our economy work."

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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