Union StationAerial view of Washington DC Union Station with the United States Capitol in the background in May 2022. By Duane Lempke - Duane Lempke Photography, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=119390509

Opened in 1907, the Beaux-Arts station was designed by Daniel Burnham and is the southern terminus of the Northeast Corridor, the busiest passenger rail line in the nation. Union Station is the second busiest Amtrak station after New York City, and is served by Amtrak, Virginia Railway Express (VRE), and Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC), as well as intercity and local buses.  Passengers can access the Red Line on Metrorail.

The latest rehabilitation project is designed to improve current and future rail service, facilitate intermodal transportation and preserve and maintain the historic Station while providing better connections to the adjacent neighborhoods, businesses, and planned development.

Federal Railroad Administration’s Expansion Project Website

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VRE L'Enfant Plaza station in December 2011 By Pi.1415926535 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=77478121VRE L’Enfant Plaza Station

South of Union Station is the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) L’Enfant Plaza Station, served by Amtrak and VRE.  This station is above the L’Enfant Plaza Metrorail station, which provides service on the Blue, Orange, Silver, Green and Yellow lines.  As a result, significantly more VRE passengers use this station instead of proceeding to Union Station to complete their journey via the Red Line.

A new enlarged station is being designed which will support simultaneous boarding of two full-length trains while two adjacent tracks will support freight service.  The platform was shifted eastward to avoid the curved track just past 7th Street NW.  Two elevators are proposed to connect more easily to the Metrorail station.  This $80 million project is scheduled to be completed in 2029.

VRE Projects Website

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DC Rail Plan

Encouraged by the C100, the DC Rail Plan was prepared by the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) to meet the requirements of the federal Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act (PRIIA), passed in 2008, as well as the subsequent State Rail Plan Guidance issued by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) in 2013.  The Act requires each state to have an approved rail plan as a condition of receiving future rail funding for either passenger or freight improvements.  The DC State Rail Plan was published in 2017.

The C100 provided extensive comments regarding the vision needed to drive future planning, early involvement of communities that will be affected by any rail projects, the need for enhanced use of commuter and intercity passenger rail for District residents, commuters, and visitors to the Capital, and the need to separate passenger from freight service to support additional and more reliable commuter rail service.

 

Long BridgeLong Bridge Washington DC Aerial 9431 093018 Lkg N By Duane Lempke - Duane Lempke Photography, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=126478001

Long Bridge is a two-track railroad bridge, built in 1906 and owned by CSXT that spans the Potomac River.  The Long Bridge Project will construct a new, two-track railroad bridge upstream of the existing bridge, creating a four-track corridor and constructing almost two miles of improvements with additional rail and pedestrian bridges between Arlington, VA and Washington, DC.  This will eliminate a significant bottleneck on the East Coast rail network and enable separation of passenger and freight rail service, something the C100 has advocated for years.  Also, as part of the mitigation for using some National Park Service parkland, a new bicycle-pedestrian bridge will be constructed spanning the Potomac River and George Washington Memorial Parkway, connecting Long Bridge Park in Virginia directly to East and West Potomac Parks.

Long Bridge Project Website

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Greater Washington Partnership

An additional organization that supports expansion of passenger rail is the Greater Washington Partnership.  They are focusing on connecting the major downtown centers of Baltimore, Washington and Richmond to maximize the economic opportunities available to the residents of the Capital region.  This supports what the C100 has advocated for years, thru-running of MARC and VRE commuter trains throughout the region, with potential extension into Delaware and Pennsylvania.

Project Website

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Document Library

Rail in DC (Commuter, Passenger, and Freight)

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C100 Follow-up To July 7 NCPC Testimony

Monte Edwards


This letter to D.C. Council Chairman Mendelson was sent in response to the Chairman’s inquiry concerning certain details of trains and tracks raised during the July 7th NCPC hearing on the Union Station Expansion project. 

Date added: July 13, 2022
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C100 Testimony Before NCPC 7Jul22 Washington Union Station Expansion Project

Monte Edwards


C100 comments presented before the NCPC during its July 7, 2022 review of the Revised Concept Plan for Union Station.

Date added: July 10, 2022
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C100 Letter Long Bridge Project Wetlands Protection

Kirby Vining


The Committee of 100 on the Federal City offers these comments and recommendations concerning National Park Service (NPS)’s May 21, 2020 STATEMENT OF FINDINGS FOR EXECUTIVE ORDER 11990 (PROTECTION OF WETLANDS), Long Bridge Project Environmental Impact Statement. The Statement of Findings announced that the NPS has determined that the new Long Bridge construction would adversely impact wetlands within the Long Bridge Project Area, and recommends mitigation.

Date added: June 18, 2020
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C100 Comments Long Bridge

James Smailes, Monte Edwards, & Meg Maguire


The Committee views the Long Bridge Project as a vital transportation and urban development project to meet the increased freight and passenger/commuter needs of our growing region, providing alternatives to truck deliveries and vehicular congestion in the region. However, as we have expressed in prior comments on this Project, we believe that there are significant flaws in data projections leading to an underestimation of needed capacity and a failure to consider alternatives to meet that capacity.

Date added: January 9, 2019
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Transmittal Letter FRA On Long Bridge Comments

Nancy MacWood


Transmittal letter to Federal Highway Administration accompanying C100 comments on the scoping of the Long Bridge EIS.

Date added: October 13, 2016
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C100 Transmittal Letter To DDOT With Long Bridge Comments

Nancy MacWood


C100 transmittal letter accompanying comments on the scoping of the Long Bridge EIS.

Date added: October 13, 2016
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Comments On The Scoping Of The Long Bridge EIS

Nancy MacWood/Monte Edwards


The Committee views the Long Bridge Environmental Impact Study as a critical transportation and urban development project that can result in increased transportation options for the Nation’s Capital that will be sorely needed as the City and the Region continue to grow. The comments that follow reflect our concern that increased attention must be given to rail transportation in providing for increased personal and business travel in the region. We also recognize the need for adequate and safe freight transportation in and through the Region and suggest new ways that passenger and freight rail may be accommodated.

Date added: October 13, 2016
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C100 Comments DC State Rail Plan

Monte Edwards & Sarah Campbell


We applaud the DDOT for the progress it has made in addressing an often-overlooked transportation issue and for the Vision that it has articulated in the materials provided at the public meeting. We appreciate that railroad projects do not enjoy the same dedicated funding as road and bridge projects and therefore look forward to working with and supporting DDOT in its efforts to advance the rail mode and better coordination between rail and other modes of transportation.  There is further work to be done in developing this phase of the DC Rail Plan and the Committee of 100 welcomes the opportunity to meet with DDOT to discuss these comments.

Date added: July 8, 2016
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C100 Letter DDOT Long Bridge

Sarah Campbell


The Committee of 100 has reviewed the materials presented at the public meeting and we have concerns about the shared SW tracks and the number of cross-river train trips attributed to CSX.

Date added: February 22, 2016
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C100 Email DC Rail Plan

Monte Edwards


I was glad to attend the open house on Monday and to see that the development of the DC State Rail Plan has begun. The Public Meeting Boards that were on display (http://static1.squarespace.com/static/55f18056e4b0e76a82e809d2/t/560aae44e4b0c7c832b2076f/1443540548107/SRP_PublicMeeting1_Boards_FINAL_reduced.pdf) offer a good start, but there are areas that need to be expanded or further explained.

Date added: September 30, 2015
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DDOT Oversight Testimony

Monte Edwards


First, let me compliment Acting Director Lief Dormsjo for his refreshing testimony at the February 4 hearing on Streetcar Propulsion Technology.  He acknowledged that DDOT has approached streetcars on an “ad hoc and inconsistent manner” and promised to take an unbiased approach to non-overhead wire propulsion technology.

Date added: March 6, 2015
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DDOT Oversight Hearing Testimony

Meg Maguire


We appreciate the opportunity to offer our support to Leif Dormsjo as he assumes his responsibilities as Director of the District Department of Transportation. His job is one of the most challenging in city government, especially when staff and citizens are confused and dispirited about many transportation issues.

Date added: March 6, 2015
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C100 Statement Transportation Public Engagement Forum

Monte Edwards


DDOT has proposed a Plan that should be designed to address congestion, transit crowding and declining transportation reliability but is in fact a Plan that can only be half funded by DC resources, and predicts that congestion, crowding, and declining reliability will continue unless neighboring jurisdictions allocate their budget dollars to solve our transportation problems.  The new administration needs to develop a comprehensive transportation plan that objectively evaluates all modes of moving people and goods and specifically includes commuter rail as an alternative to automobile commuting and freight rail as an alternative to moving freight by truck.

Date added: December 9, 2014
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C100 Virginia Avenue Tunnel Complaint

Les Alderman, III


This document contains the full text of the complaint filed by The Committee of 100 on the Federal City challenging approval of CSX twin tunnels in Federal Court and asking that no permits be issued.

Date added: November 12, 2014
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Memorandum Of Points And Authorities

Les Alderman, III

Date added: November 12, 2014
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Proposed Order

Les Alderman, III

Date added: November 12, 2014
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Motion for Preliminary Injunction

Les Alderman, III

Date added: November 12, 2014
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C100 Press Release VA Ave Tunnel Lawsuit

Monte Edwards

Date added: November 11, 2014
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C100 Lawyer Letter to FHWA DDOT

Alderman Devorsetz and Hora


"Chief among our concerns is evidence that the District of Columbia Department of Transportation (DDOT) prejudged the outcome of the FEIS and entered into several agreements with CSXT that rewarded DDOT for ensuring that the FEIS endorsed one of the “build alternatives” – each of which involve enlarging the current Virginia Avenue Tunnel."

Date added: September 11, 2014
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C100 PR VAT Council Please Stop

Monte Edwards


The Committee on the Federal City (C100) is asking the DC Council to pass legislation to prohibit the issuance of any permits for the new, expanded CSX Tunnel in southeast until the Council completes its DC Rail Plan and DDOT and FHWA issue a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) that takes the analysis into account.

Date added: August 26, 2014
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