R2R: New passenger rail line will be eco-devo boon for NC/Va

R2R: Raleigh to Richmond via rail | NCDOT

Dec. 6. The US Department of Transportation will award a $1 billion for the development of a new passenger rail line between Raleigh and Richmond, Va., according to Sen. Thom Tillis.

Tillis called the project, known as R2R, “a big win for economic development in the region.”

The Huntersville resident and former Cornelius Town Board member helped negotiate, write and pass into law the required legislation for R2R.

US Sen Thom Tillis

US Sen Thom Tillis

“I’m proud this investment was made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that I helped negotiate, write, and pass into law,” Tillis said.

The new service will be a “resilient and reliable” passenger rail route that will also contribute to freight and supply chain issues in the Southeast.


NCDOT and Amtrak will provide a 20 percent non-Federal match. Following selection, the Federal Railroad Administration anticipates an initial obligation of FY22-23 funds under the agreement of up to $479,416,000, with contingent commitments from Advance Appropriations in FY24-26 providing the balance of funds.

The NC Department of Transportation and Amtrak will provide 20 percent in matching funds for the project which will support freight and supply-chain resiliency in the Southeast.

The Raleigh-to-Richmond, or R2R, project, is a partnership between the North Carolina Department of Transportation and Virginia Rail Passenger Authority. Virginia purchased 75 miles of the S-Line right of way between Petersburg, Va., and Ridgeway, N.C., in 2020.

The Hill says the new route could cut an hour off travel time between Raleigh and Richmond, and could be in service by the end of the decade


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