2007 Session

Budget Bill - HB1650 (Chapter 847)

Department of Rail and Public Transportation

Item 438

Item 438

First Year - FY2007Second Year - FY2008
Financial Assistance for Rail Programs (61000)$27,400,000$27,900,000
Rail Preservation Programs (61002)FY2007 $3,000,000FY2008 $3,000,000
Rail Enhancement Programs (61003)FY2007 $24,400,000FY2008 $24,900,000
Fund Sources:  
Commonwealth TransportationFY2007 $27,400,000FY2008 $27,900,000

Authority: Title 33.1, Code of Virginia.

A.  The Commonwealth Transportation Board shall operate a program entitled the Shortline Railway Preservation and Development Program in accordance with § 33.1-221.1:1.2, Code of Virginia.   Using transportation revenues generally available to the Board, funds shall be appropriated as determined by the Board to designated transportation projects in addition to funds allocated pursuant to § 33.1-23.1, Code of Virginia.  Total Shortline Rail Preservation funding for the Shortline Railway Preservation and Development Fund shall not exceed $3,000,000 the first year and $3,000,000 the second year.  For the purpose of this section and program, a shortline railroad is any Class II or Class III railroad as defined by the Surface Transportation Board.  Projects undertaken by the Board pursuant to this section shall be to acquire, lease, improve, or assist other appropriate entities to acquire, lease, or improve shortline railways for freight and passenger rail transportation purposes which the Board determines are for the common good of the Commonwealth or any region of the Commonwealth.

B.  The Department shall report to the Chairmen of the Senate Finance and House Appropriations Committees on the transportation project authorized under the Virginia Transportation Act of 2000 to provide passenger rail service between the Cities of Bristol and Richmond, and Washington, D.C.  In addition to the project's status, the Department shall include revised information on capital and operating costs, potential revenue of such passenger service, and the project's potential benefits to alleviate congestion on the state's Interstate and highway system of roads.  The report shall be submitted by January 2, 2007.

C. The Department shall inform the Senate Committees on Transportation and Finance and the House Committees on Transportation and Appropriations on the agency's efforts to ensure that the selection of an intermodal rail facility or facilities for the Heartland Corridor Project takes into consideration the interest of all affected parties, advances state transportation objectives, and will be both cost-effective and cost-efficient in terms of saving time in the transport of goods from the Ports of Hampton Roads to the mid-West and in keeping the Commonwealth economically competitive.

D. Prior to the release of any Rail Enhancement Funds to CSX for I-95 Rail Corridor Improvements, the Department and CSX shall execute an operating agreement that will provide for improved and reliable passenger and freight rail operations in the corridor. This agreement must include provisions for managing heat restrictions, including strategies for maintaining or enhancing the reliability of passenger rail services during heat restriction purposes.