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About Southeast Rail Plan

A brief overview of the project.


Railroad by a Country Road

Railway running by road

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is embarking on an effort to develop a long-term, regional passenger rail vision for the Southeast region. This Regional Rail Plan will explore the potential for high-performance rail and create a long-term vision for intercity connections over the next 40 years. The study will build on the already established Southeast High-Speed Rail Corridor between the District of Columbia, Virginia, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, on-going state planning efforts, and other activities in the region.

To help develop this Plan, FRA organized a Stakeholder Group, which includes stakeholders from Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. In addition, West Virginia and Alabama are also following the progress of the study, given their proximity to the region.  Other audiences and interested parties, such as relevant freight and passenger railroads as well as business and community groups, will also be engaged throughout the process.

The Stakeholder Group’s work will be conducted in five workshops to be held across the region beginning in September 2016 and concluding in the late summer of 2017.

FRA will receive input from the Stakeholder Group and evaluate potential markets, corridors, ridership, and costs as well as governance and/or institutional options that will ultimately feed into the creation of the Southeast Regional Plan.

Why a Regional Approach?

Developing rail plans in the context of a broader regional, multi-state framework can yield significant benefits, including:

  • Promoting cost-effective investments that are responsive to the economically interdependent market needs of communities across a region;
  • Sharing and reducing capital and operations costs while increasing ridership through network effects;
  • Facilitating the integration of rail projects with the planning and programming requirements of other transportation modes;
  • Addressing multi-state governance issues;
  • Promoting greater involvement by stakeholders; and,
  • Identifying priorities for limited federal funding.