Catching a sport in Baltimore after which dinner in Fredericksburg on the weekend isn’t a simple one-fare prepare journey away, however there’s a push to alter that over the following 25 years.
Catching a sport in Baltimore after which dinner in Fredericksburg, Virginia, on the weekend isn’t a simple one-fare prepare journey away, however there’s a push to alter that over the following 25 years.
The Higher Washington Partnership believes it may be made potential with the transformation of the Higher Washington Space’s regional rail community and the provide of run-through service.
“The imaginative and prescient actually lays out a path to strategically combine our area’s rail system,” mentioned Joe McAndrew, vice chairman for transportation on the partnership.
In its technical report, Higher Washington Partnership’s “Capital Region Rail Vision” outlines methods, modifying infrastructure and getting rail suppliers, reminiscent of Virginia Railway Categorical and MARC, to work collectively on service choices to permit trains to take individuals to extra locations within the area throughout one prepare journey.
The report mentioned the prevailing rail community within the D.C. space is a superior one which has 335 complete miles of rail strains and greater than 54,000 day by day riders. However at the moment, there are limitations because of infrastructure.
“The capability of our rail system is at the moment at a bodily bottle neck,” McAndrew mentioned.
The report requires near $14 billion to be spent on enhancing infrastructure, which incorporates tasks increasing the Lengthy Bridge over the Potomac River, Union Station, and the Baltimore and Potomac Tunnel in Baltimore.
Whereas the worth tag is steep, with all of the really helpful enhancements costing $23 billion, McAndrew mentioned the payoff could possibly be over $40 billion in financial output for the area, 200,000 extra jobs, and will result in fewer vehicles on the highway.
“It’s an enormous financial alternative to essentially sort of take an asset that’s at the moment sort of sitting on the sidelines, not being totally realized, and turning it into an asset that may actually sort of drive our area’s progress,” McAndrew mentioned.
The report mentioned that higher regional rail service would create extra alternative for communities of shade and low-income areas within the area, and enhance entry to inexpensive housing as effectively.
McAndrew mentioned most of the infrastructure tasks are within the pipeline to be completed — with Lengthy Bridge transferring nearer to development and Union Station and the Baltimore and Potomac Tunnel tasks within the design part.
To make this occur, enhancements could be wanted at some stations and fleet upgrades could be needed.
The report cites the good thing about extra service for many who will work in Nationwide Touchdown, which is the spot in Arlington, Virginia, that Amazon has chosen for its second headquarters.
McAndrew mentioned rail service will must be expanded, from quarter-hour to fewer minutes in between trains throughout peak weekday hours and fewer than an hour await passengers in the midst of the day.
He mentioned, in a post-pandemic world, there’ll must be discussions about extra forms of journeys, providing extra choices for individuals who wish to journey outdoors of peak hours, particularly on weekends.
“With that you simply’ll see extra individuals desirous to journey as a result of it is going to really be a viable choice,” McAndrew mentioned.
A seamless rider expertise could be needed too, in accordance with the report, and that will contain all regional rail strains coming collectively to create a unified fare coverage. The report mentioned different transit operations, reminiscent of Metro, would additionally must be part of the plan.
“We’d like larger collaboration and coordination to have the ability to get to an operation that gives the seamless interconnectivity,” McAndrew mentioned.
McAndrew mentioned he believes the area can come collectively and make this imaginative and prescient a actuality. His instance was the 12 months 2018, when all three jurisdictions funded Metro after a dire warning of serious cuts.