Local businesses, residents hear proposal for new Richmond high speed rail

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Could Richmond soon see a new high speed rail on the Boulevard, connecting the city to Washington D.C.?

The proposal was presented to the Scott’s Addition Boulevard Association Wednesday in their bi-monthly meeting at the Science Museum of Virginia.

Former President of Virginia Commonwealth University Dr. Eugene Trani said there’s a need in the City to have a single train station that connects Richmond to Washington D.C. and that the option was one of many that the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation discussed before, but has never taken into serious consideration.

“I would hope that there would be a discussion of the alternatives for the Richmond metropolitan area like there has been in the town of Ashland,” Trani said. “I think there would be a tremendous economic impact in terms of development, which would result in more money for the city schools and other areas.”

City Councilwoman Kim Gray addressed the crowd, showing support for the proposal. She said this new high speed rail would sit on the Boulevard near the current Greyhound Bus Station and would collaborate the GRTC Pulse, Staples Mill and Main Street Amtrak stations under one roof.

“The Main Street station has potential for a museum to commemorate and honor the slave trade that took place there,” Gray said. “I think that having our voices heard and making sure that we have all options on the table and that we’re making the best decision with the resources we have is critical to our city moving forward.”

Local businesses owners and residents in the meeting also showed support for the proposal but were skeptical that Henrico County would allow for the Staples Mill location to shut down for the single train station to be built in Richmond.

Trani said the next step now is for the proposal to gain more support and to set up a public meeting with the City and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation later this month or in September.

“All I’m asking for is that this alternative be studied carefully in the months ahead,” Trani said.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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