Virginians for High Speed Rail goals:
· Connect the Commonwealth with fast, frequent, and reliable passenger rail service;
· Improve the quality and frequency of Amtrak Service along;
o The Newport News – Richmond – Washington rail corridor
o The Lynchburg – Charlottesville – Washington rail corridor
· Develop and extend passenger rail service;
o Between Richmond and Norfolk
o Lynchburg to Roanoke and Bristol
· Promote and advance the Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor;
· Advance public-private partnerships and investments in high-performance passenger, freight, and commuter rail services;
o Governor Mark Warner convenes a Commission on Rail Enhancement in the 21st Century.
o Virginia launches its first state sponsored Amtrak service between Lynchburg and Washington, D.C.
o Virginia is obligated $75 million from the first round of high speed rail funding for the Washington to Richmond corridor
o Virginia launches its second state sponsored Amtrak service between Richmond and Washington, D.C.
o Virginia, through the Rail Enhancement Fund, invests nearly $100 million to extend the first Amtrak service to Norfolk since 1977.
Southeast High Speed Rail Association along with Virginians for High Speed Rail hosts the 10th Anniversary Southeast High Speed Rail Conference.
o Virginia receives $44.3 million to complete the environmental design of the Washington to Richmond corridor.
o North Carolina receives $4 million to complete the environmental design of the Richmond to Raleigh corridor.
o General Assembly dedicates $54 million to sustain Virginia’s regional trains for two years, and to capitalize the Virginia Intercity Passenger Rail Operating and Capital Fund.
Virginians for High Speed Rail is the oldest high speed rail advocacy organization in the Southeast, and one of the oldest in the country. Over the last sixteen years, we have made several significant contributions to the advancement of intercity and high speed passenger rail in the Commonwealth of Virginia. We were the lead education and advocacy organization that helped to create the Virginia-North Carolina High Speed Rail Compact (Compact), the Virginia Rail Enhancement Fund (REF), and the Virginia Intercity Passenger Rail Operating and Capital Fund (IPROC). The Compact is a group of legislators from Virginia and North Carolina that help coordinate the two states high speed rail plans. The REF has invested hundreds of millions into Virginia’s rail infrastructure, and IPROC can be used as the vehicle to maintain and expand Virginia’s intercity passenger rail service, as well as match any federal high speed rail funds.
We also assisted the Commonwealth in becoming the 15th state to launch Amtrak state supported regional services, and helped to locate the funding necessary to extend the first intercity passenger rail service from Richmond to Norfolk since 1977.
Our overall mission is to link Virginia with fast, frequent, and reliable passenger rail service, and as the only rail advocacy organization in Virginia and the Southeast with full time staff members we’ve made tremendous progress. However, we understand that there is still much work to be done, and with our dedicated staff and board members, generous supporters, and volunteers we will accomplish our mission and goals.
Daniel L. “Danny” Plaugher was raised in Manassas, Virginia where he lived until moving to Richmond to attend Virginia Commonwealth University. There he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.
In 2002, he was appointed by Governor Mark R. Warner to serve on the Advisory Committee for Juvenile Justice to complete an unexpired term and was reappointed in 2003 for a full term, becoming one of the youngest members of Governor Mark R. Warner’s administration.
Before joining Virginians for High Speed Rail, Danny worked on over a half dozen campaigns including the 2002 Higher Education Bond Referendum. He joined Virginians for High Speed Rail in January 2007 and was promoted to executive director in July 2007. In 2008 he was the only person from the Southeast to advocate for the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act which created the current federal high speed rail program, and in 2009 he helped to establish the Southeast High Speed Rail Association.
His proudest success thus far is the role he played in the creation of the Virginia Intercity Passenger Rail Operating and Capital Fund, a first of its kind in the nation, which is the foundation necessary to sustain and expand intercity and high speed passenger rail service across Virginia and the east coast.
Danny currently lives in Richmond’s Willow Lawn area. He is President-Elect of Virginia's oldest Rotary Club, the Rotary Club of Richmond, and active in the William Byrd Community House, VCU Alumni Association, and the Partnership for Smarter Growth.
He was named one of Richmond’s top 40 under 40 by Style Weekly magazine in 2011.
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