In 2001, several of VRPI's founders prepared a Proposed Rail Plan for Virginia that included a history of rail in Virginia, an examination of the present state of rail, and specific proposals for how rail should move forward. The plan, published by VRPI's parent organization, Virginians for High Speed Rail, was the first of its kind for Virginia.
After it was founded as an independent organization, VRPI published its first major policy paper, Virginia's Investment in Rail: Protecting the Public Interest, which dealt with issues arising out of public funding of rail infrastructure on privately-owned rail rights of way. This document anticipated that large investments of public funds would be appropriated annually for rail capital projects as a result of recently-passed legislation establishing a dedicated fund for this purpose (the Rail Enhancement Fund) (REF).
In 2010 VRPI published a report on the effectiveness of the Rail Advisory Board, an appointed citizens board charged with developing recommendations for allocating Rail Enhancement Funds and "identifying, developing and advocating projects and policies" for rail transportation.
VRPI also has produced various comment letters and reviews, including:
- Reviews of the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation's 2008 and 2013 Statewide Rail Plans.
- Comments and recommendations to the Federal Railroad Administration on the Future of the Northeast Corridor.
- Comments on the Rail Enhancement Fund (with cover letter) in response to the HB1887 review of the REF.
- Comments to the CTB Rail Subcommittee in response to DRPT's recommended Updates and Enhancements to the REF Legislative and Policy Goals.
Member Publications: Articles By and About VRPI Members
Articles by and about individual VRPI Directors and Fellows appear frequently in national and statewide publications on topics of transportation and public policy. Here are a few recent publications by our members:
- "Gas leading at halftime, but electrification may stage a comeback" by David Foster, Progressive Railroading, Februrary, 2015.
- "Time for More Transportation Choices" by Danny Plaugher, Richmond Times-Dispatch, February 15, 2015.
- "The Case for Virginia's Regional Trains: Foundation for the Future" by Daniel Plaugher and Trip Pollard, Virginians for High Speed Rail, December, 2013.
- "Railroad Policy in Virginia: How We Got Where We Are and Where We Might Go From Here" by Richard L. Beadles, The Virginia Newsletter, Published by the University of Virginia Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, Vol. 89, No. 3, June 2013.
- "At Work with Bill Shafer, Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum" by Robert McCabe, The Virginian-Pilot, March 2013.
- "The World According to Jim McClellan" a blog from Trains contributor Fred Frailey, October 5, 2012.
- "Railroads and The New Normal: Impact of Lean and Green on Their Future" by Jim McClellan, The Thomas B. Deen Distinguished Lecture, TRR Paper Number 11-0001, 2011.
- "Should Virginia Replace the Motor Fuels Tax with a Vehicle Miles Traveled Tax?" by George E. Hoffer, The Virginia Newsletter, Vol. 87, No. 1, February 2011.
- "More of the Trains Interview with Norfolk Southern's Bill Shafer" by David C. Lester, Trains, July 2011.
- "Intercity Passenger Rail in Virginia: What's on Track for the Future?" by Meredith Martin Richards, The Virginia Newsletter, Published by the University of Virginia Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, Vol. 86, No. 4, August 2010.
- "Smart Growth is Smart Economics: Sustainable Development in the Greater Richmond Region" by Trip Pollard, Southern Environmental Law Center, 2010.