March 23, 2016
Joseph Swartz, Chief of Staff
VRE to Present Gainesville-Haymarket Extension Alternatives at Community Meeting
Alexandria, VA. – The Virginia Railway Express (VRE) announced today the public is invited to participate in the second community meeting for the Virginia Railway Express Gainesville-Haymarket Extension (VRE GHX) study.
This will be an opportunity to comment on the initial draft alternatives developed for public consideration. These initial alternatives will include variations of project elements such as station locations and train schedules. Public comments will help the study team refine the potential alternatives for VRE service. Draft recommendations will be presented for public review in fall 2016. VRE is evaluating an 11-mile extension and service improvements of its commuter rail service along the Manassas Line via the Norfolk Southern Railway B-Line, extending from the City of Manassas through Gainesville to the Town of Haymarket near the U.S. Route 15 and I-66 intersection.
VRE initiated this new study of the Gainesville-Haymarket Extension in July 2015 to advance this important regional transportation initiative. The current VRE GHX study is anticipated to require approximately two years to complete. It is a critical step toward enhancing service on the Manassas Line and extending service into a high demand area. If the analysis supports continued project development, final design and construction would follow, with passenger rail operations beginning in 2022 or later. This schedule is subject to funding availability. VRE is also coordinating with Norfolk Southern, the owner of the rail line, who will eventually need to approve the project.
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 about the project and provide their input on the draft alternatives.
The meeting will take place as follows:
April 27, 2016
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Gainesville Middle School Lecture Hall
8001 Limestone Dr., Gainesville, VA 20155
There will also be a meeting of the VRE GHX Policy Advisory Committee on April 7, 2016 from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM at the Prince William Economic Development Office, 13575 Heathcote Blvd. #240, Gainesville, VA 20155. The meeting is open to the public.
These meetings will be conducted in locations accessible to persons with disabilities. Any individual with a disability who requires special assistance, such as a sign language interpreter, should call Joseph Swartz at (703) 838-5425, TTY (703) 684-0551 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org at least ten days prior to each 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