It is stunning how much slower Amtrak trains are south of Washington as opposed to north. Washington to New York is a trip that can be made in two and a half hours. Washington to Raleigh, at approximately the same distance, takes 6-7 hours, and the journey is far less predictable. Poorer trackage and the need to share the rails with freight trains explains most of the difference.
So it’s fantastic to see Virginia making efforts to improve the rail corridor between Washington and Richmond. Hopefully the efforts will continue, and improvements will work their way ever southward. Also notable is the price tag–$13 million. Practically nothing transport oriented can be done for that amount, and yet the potential gains from such a small expenditure are significant.
It’s worth pointing out how big an interest the state has in improving these rail connections. The economy in Northern Virginia is lightyears ahead of anything anywhere else in the state. Improving connections between other metropolitan areas and the Washington juggernaut will only increase the market potential of those other areas.