Plan approved to shorten rail line from Raleigh to Richmond

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Friday, September 18, 2015
FILE- Amtrak train
AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File

RALEIGH -- Federal officials and North Carolina and Virginia representatives have approved a final environmental study on plans for a shorter rail line linking Raleigh and Richmond.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported the documents signed Thursday are part of the effort to allow faster trains from Atlanta to Washington, D.C.

North Carolina's Department of Transportation has approved a route allowing trains to run as fast as 110 mph between the state capitals. The proposed rout trims 35 miles from the current Amtrak path. It would reduce the travel time from North Carolina to Washington by 75 minutes.

DOT officials estimate they will need $4 billion to buy the land, lay tracks and build roads, bridges and stations along the route. Full funding for the effort has not been secured.

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