The Virginia Railway Express (VRE), having successfully closed a public bond sale on
June 28, will make a significant financial contribution to the Transforming Rail in Virginia (TRV) program.
The commuter rail service will use $119.2 million of the bond proceeds to support the commonwealth’s
purchase of rail right-of-way in the Interstate 95 corridor from CSX Transportation.
Those funds will go to the Virginia Passenger Rail Authority (VPRA), which manages the $4 billion TRV
program. “Our Transforming Rail in Virginia initiative is an immense investment in passenger rail not
seen in decades,” said DJ Stadtler, executive director of VPRA. “This financial contribution from our
VRE partners will enable us to increase and improve service, making VRE a viable option for even more
Virginians. We thank VRE for their foresight and commitment to expanding passenger rail in the
Demand for the bonds – issued under the name of the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission
(NVTC), which co-owns VRE – was strong based on double-A credit ratings and a green bond
designation. Green bonds fund projects with environmental benefits. Net proceeds from VRE’s bond
issuance will support the acquisition of rail right-of-way, essential to increasing passenger rail service.
The expansion of VRE service – to include off-peak, evening and weekend trains – and intercity
passenger rail service will help reduce future emissions of greenhouse gases and particulates.
The bonds are backed by revenues from the Commuter Rail Operating and Capital (CROC) Fund.
Created by the General Assembly in 2018, the CROC Fund receives $15 million annually from motor
fuels tax revenues collected in the jurisdictions represented on VRE’s two parent commissions, NVTC
and the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission. The final maturity date for the entire
bond series is June 1, 2052.
VRE’s additional $75 million contribution to TRV also will come from the CROC Fund.
Beyond these financial contributions, VRE will support TRV through station and rail infrastructure
improvements. Its $1.1 billion capital improvements program is more than two-thirds funded. Among
the projects are those that would lengthen existing and build new platforms to accommodate longer
trains and allow for the simultaneous boarding of two trains at a station.
-via Press Release