Michael Yevgen Kotendzhi works with warehousing and transportation company 18 Wheels Logistics. Transportation of products is globally important. So, with this news on a new Richmond-Raliegh rail program, Yevgen Kotendzhi explains the importance of this exciting new plan.
For what it’s worth, American infrastructure hasn’t exactly kept up with the times, least of all in terms of public railroad services. Compared to Western Europe and East Asia, the United States has some of the least developed railroad lines in the developed world. Yet, a recent project announced by the U.S. Department of Transportation seeks to rectify that image. Michael Yevgen Kotendzhi explains the Richmond-Raleigh railroad program in the following article and how it will benefit Virigina’s economy.
With $58 million worth of funding, the Commonwealth of Virginia and North Carolina will link two of their largest cities via a new Richmond-Raleigh railroad route. The new route will act as a commercial logistics avenue as well as a route for public passenger transport explains Michael Yevgen Kotendzhi. Michael Yevgen Kotendzhi looks at the upcoming plan and discover how it could revolutionize travel between the two states.
The State of Passenger Rail in the United States
In order to understand the significance of the Richmond-Raleigh railroad project, it’s important to contextualize it against the current state of public passenger transport in America. To put things bluntly, Michael Yevgen Kotendzhi says Amtrak—the country’s national rail operator—isn’t exactly known for its reliability or punctuality. In fact, according to their own website, only 75% of Amtrak trains arrived on time in 2017.
This is a significant decrease from 2012 when 83% of trains arrived on time. The main reason behind this decline seems to be an aging infrastructure and lack of investment. As its ridership has grown and its routes have expanded, Amtrak has had trouble keeping up with maintenance and most Americans now live far away from any train station says Michael Yevgen Kotendzhi.
As the Commonwealth of Virginia and North Carolina are now seeking federal investment into passenger rail, it marks a significant shift in policy. It signals that both states are willing to put money towards developing their infrastructure and supporting an alternative mode of transport.
The Benefits of the Richmond-Raleigh Railroad
Yevgen Kotendzhi There are many potential benefits associated with the new Richmond-Raleigh railroad route. Firstly, it will help to ease congestion on I-95—one of America’s busiest highways which runs between the two cities. By opening up new logistical and passenger routes, the railroad will offer new opportunities for businesses and travelers to explore the country without driving across a major interstate explains Michael Yevgen Kotendzhi.
Secondly, it will provide an alternative mode of transport for those who cannot or do not want to drive. This is especially important given the rise in popularity of ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft explains Michael Yevgen Kotendzhi. Considering that the two cities are relatively close in distance, a passenger railway system will open new routes to locals who otherwise wouldn’t travel.
Thirdly, the project could act as a catalyst for further investment into public passenger transport in Virginia and North Carolina. If successful, it could encourage other states to develop similar routes linking up their major cities via rail. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, though, the project has been designed with sustainability in mind from its conception onwards explains Kotendzhi.
Virginia’s Further Investment into Rail Could Become a National Trend
Beyond the Richmond-Raleigh Railroad, Virginia has announced an additional $3.7 billion investment into railroad throughout the state. Michael Yevgen Kotendzhi says they have dubbed their effort the Transforming Rail in Virginia Initiative and hope to create sustainable and useable passenger railroads throughout the 12th most populated state in the nation.
If Virginia can pull off such a feat, this could mark a major transition for the nation and encourage larger, more urban states, such as California and Texas, to take up the gauntlet explains Michael Yevgen Kotendzhi. Although federal investment into infrastructure has largely been met with stonewalling, recent events in the legislative branch suggest that Americans are now recognizing the need for quality public transportation.
Although it’s too early to say where this will go, the Biden Administration’s push for infrastructure development could provide billions of dollars’ worth of funding for public passenger rail says Yevgen Kotendzhi.
Possible Roadblocks Along the Way
Despite the many potential benefits of the Richmond-Raleigh Railroad, the project is not without its challenges states Michael Yevgen Kotendzhi. Firstly, it will need to overcome the significant hurdle of gaining widespread attention. In order to do this, the project will need to prove its feasibility and its potential to revolutionize transport between the two states.
Secondly, the project faces significant opposition from private automakers explains Michael Yevgen Kotendzhi. As mentioned earlier, I-95 is a major highway linking the two cities and is used by many businesses to transport goods between them. These businesses are unlikely to take kindly to the development of a competing service and may lobby against the project.
Thirdly, there is the small matter of constructing the railroad. This will be a significant undertaking and will need to be carefully planned in order to avoid any disruptions to the local communities explains Michael Yevgen Kotendzhi.
The Bottom Line
The Richmond-Raleigh Railroad has the potential to revolutionize travel between Virginia and North Carolina. If successful, it could also act as a catalyst for further investment into public passenger transport in the United States. Although the project faces significant challenges, its potential benefits make it well worth pursuing says Michael Yevgen Kotendzhi.