- Associated Press - Friday, October 24, 2014

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Plans for high speed train service in North Carolina and Virginia seem to be starting slowly.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported (http://bit.ly/1D6M4oI) that leaders from the two states are not sure where to find the $4 billion it would take for service from Raleigh to Richmond, Virginia.

They are looking to start with slower trains, in hopes of getting a faster service later.

Those working on the idea met in Raleigh on Thursday.

A planned 163-mile route from Raleigh to Richmond would use trains that could travel 110 mph on tracks that would be 35 miles shorter than the current line Amtrak uses.

That plan would require new rails and 100 new bridges under or over the roads the cross the tracks.

Those at the meeting plant to take a slower, incremental approach to improving the service.

The initial goal is to improve a CSX freight line from Raleigh to Norlina near the Virginia border. There also are plans to restore tracks that were removed in the 1980s between Norlina and Richmond.

Officials hope to have a plan by 2017 to start trains that could run at speeds of up to 79 mph, with hopes for phasing in improvements that would allow faster trips later.

A study will compare project costs against expected ridership and other benefits.

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Information from: The News & Observer, http://www.newsobserver.com

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