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Workshops To Take Questions On High-Speed Rail

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RALEIGH, N.C. — State officials are refining the rail corridor between Raleigh and Petersburg, Va. with an eye toward developinghigh-speed passenger train service.

Starting Tuesday, officials

will host workshops

along the 138-mile stretch, answering questions and listening to concernsabout the project.

The largely abandoned rail corridor between Raleigh and Petersburg is essential to a $2 billion plan to create high-speed passenger rail service between Charlotte and Washington.

By sending up to 110-mile-per-hour trains along the old CSX rail line, the two states could trim the now nine-hour trip to six hours by 2010.

Last year, federal regulators signed off on the general path for high-speed rail, including the more direct route from Petersburg to Raleigh via Norlina and Henderson.

Currently, Amtrak trains take a roundabout route from Petersburg to Raleigh via Rocky Mount, Wilson and Selma at speeds of up to 79 mph.

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