Northern Virginia is getting a new rail station. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe was present on July 31 in Prince William County — along with many other federal, state, local and railroad officials — to celebrate the groundbreaking for the new Virginia Railway Express (VRE) station. The new station will be part of the Potomac Shores master-planned community and is scheduled to open in 2017.
Potomac Shores is a 1,920-acre waterfront community developed by SunCal. This transit-oriented destination will feature more than 3,800 new homes, a private 10,000-square-foot recreation center, two public schools, more than a dozen sports fields and courts, a town center, a marina and waterfront village, a resort hotel, a corporate campus and nearly 850 acres of natural open space. The new VRE station will be located in the community’s town center, along a bluff-top promenade overlooking the Potomac River. Commuters will have to take an elevator or stairs in order to get down to the boarding platforms.
Last week’s groundbreaking ceremony was meant to celebrate the recent agreement between VRE and CSX Transportation, an agreement that allows the project to move forward. At the moment, the project is still in the design phase. Construction is scheduled to start in the fourth quarter of 2015.
The new VRE station was made possible thanks to the Federal Railroad Administration’s 2012 authorization of $74.8 million to build 11 miles of a third track from Stafford County to Prince William County. The state invested $15 million, while SunCal pledged $20 million for the design and construction of the station.
“A robust, effective transportation system is key to ensuring that Virginia can compete in a 21st-century economy,” Gov. McAuliffe said in a statement for the press. “This means investing not only in road improvements but also rail and mass transit, which is why today’s groundbreaking is a critical part of my transportation agenda. The new Potomac Shores VRE station will be a vital link in the region’s commuter rail network, and it is a great example of the commonwealth working together with private partners.”
Photo credit: SunCal