Cline gives thumbs-up on rail news

State Del. Ben Cline, R-24th, today applauded the elimination of a critical choke point with a reconfigured rail junction on Norfolk Southern’s Crescent Corridor near Front Royal.

This was the final of six capacity improvement projects in Northern Virginia that will help more trains travel at higher speeds and ease traffic congestion on I-81.

“Ensuring safety along the I-81 corridor is critical to our economic success here in Western Virginia, and by moving thousands of trucks onto rail, this project will help ensure that businesses, residents and visitors are able to travel more efficiently and safely within our region,” said Cline. “I was proud to offer the budget amendment in 2005 that funded this and other Rail Enhancement Fund projects, and I will continue working with my colleagues from other states as a member of the I-81 Corridor Coalition to improve intermodal freight transport and make our highways safer for Virginia families and businesses.”

Funded by $43 million from the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation and nearly $20 million from Norfolk Southern, the projects lengthened or build new passing tracks between Manassas and Front Royal, installed five miles of double track near the Virginia Inland Port, improved signal and traffic control systems, and increased train speeds through Riverton Junction near Front Royal.

Edited by Chris Graham. Chris can be reached at

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