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VRE to Present Final Draft Gainesville-Haymarket Extension Alternatives at Community Meeting

VRE to Present Final Draft Gainesville-Haymarket Extension Alternatives at Community Meeting

Alexandria, VA. – The Virginia Railway Express (VRE) announced today the public is invited to participate in the third community meeting for the Virginia Railway Express Gainesville-Haymarket Extension (VRE GHX) study.

This will be an opportunity to comment on the final draft alternatives to be considered by the VRE Operations Board. These alternatives will represent the most viable options to expand VRE Manassas Line service, based on public comments received and the study analysis conducted to-date. Public comments from this third community meeting will help the study team refine the final draft alternatives for expanded VRE service. The VRE Operations Board will consider the public comments received as part of their potential decision to recommend one or more alternatives for federal environmental review, in addition to more detailed planning and engineering analysis.

VRE is evaluating a range of alternatives to expand VRE Manassas Line service, including an extension along the Norfolk Southern Railway (NS) B-Line, as well as relocating the existing Broad Run station to a new location near Godwin Drive in Manassas. All alternatives under consideration would increase the frequency of VRE service from about every 30 minutes in the mornings and evenings to approximately every 20 minutes. VRE initiated the study in July 2015. It is a critical step toward enhancing service on the Manassas Line and expanding VRE options for travel in the region. If the analysis supports continued project development, final design and construction will follow, with passenger rail operations beginning in 2022 or later. This schedule is subject to funding availability and approval by NS, the owner of the rail line.

The VRE GHX study is being conducted in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission, the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission, the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, Prince William County, Norfolk Southern Railway, and other stakeholders, building upon information gained through prior studies within the GHX and I-66 corridors. The study team is investigating possible station locations and service plans, in addition to identifying track improvements to support VRE service. The study also includes preliminary engineering, design work and an assessment of potential environmental impacts as part of the effort to identify a Locally Preferred Alternative. Please visit the VRE GHX project website for additional information at  www.vre.org/ghx.

Public engagement is a critical part of this initiative. VRE encourages the public to attend this community meeting to learn more about the project and provide their input on the final draft alternatives.

The meeting will take place as follows:

December 7, 2016

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

at

Piney Branch Elementary School

8301 Linton Hall Rd., Door 1, Bristow, VA 20136

This meeting will be conducted in a location accessible to persons with disabilities. Any individual with a disability who requires special assistance, such as a sign language interpreter, should call Paul Dean at (703) 684-1001, TTY (703) 684-0551 or e-mail ghx@vre.org at least ten days prior to the meeting in order to make the necessary arrangements.

About the Virginia Railway Express (VRE)

VRE is the tenth largest commuter rail service in the U.S. and is a transportation partnership of the Northern Virginia and Potomac & Rappahannock Transportation Commissions. VRE’s mission is to provide safe, cost effective, accessible, reliable, convenient, and customer responsive commuter- oriented rail passenger service. It provides over 4.5 million rides annually in northern Virginia and Washington D.C. and its offices are based in Alexandria, VA. Visit our website at:  www.vre.org