Great news! The amended budget signed by Governor Youngkin on September 14, 2023 included language in support of the Shenandoah Rail Trail. The budget language says
Up to $35 million shall be allocated to the Shenandoah Valley Rail Trail for the purposes of land acquisition, initial planning, and site development. Any land acquisition by the Commonwealth as part of this trail development shall not preclude the consideration of options to maintain rail transportation in the corridor.
But the work is not done. Officials need to move forward with the project.
Please take a moment now to contact your elected leaders. Thank them for the Shenandoah Rail Trail funding and ask them to get the ball rolling on the Shenandoah Rail Trail. This project has been many years in the making, is supported by every town and every county along the corridor, and the money is in place. The time is now!
And in your message, we encourage you to personalize it by adding a way you plan to use the trail. For example, I look forward to having a safe place to walk, run and bike with my children.
Act today to support the trail! Thank your state legislators and to encourage the Governor to move forward on this well-supported project!
If you don’t see the representatives you expected, please check that the address entered is complete (i.e. apartment number, etc.)
Note that the budget language also includes a reference to considering options to maintain rail transportation. We hope that state officials will resolve this quickly, as it’s clear that rail transportation is not currently economically viable without huge public subsidies.
Fortunately, trail leaders plan to acquire the corridor through railbanking, which will keep the corridor intact until future passenger or freight rail use becomes economically viable.