CSX Alexandria Fourth Track

King Street station tracks

CSX Alexandria Fourth Track

Opening a New Track in Virginia Will Increase Capacity, Connections

A CSX-owned rail corridor through Alexandria, Virginia, is adding a fourth track to relieve a bottleneck and increase capacity for passenger trains. The 6-mile track will run between Arlington and Alexandria.

This project has a host of benefits: Additional capacity for passenger and freight trains between Alexandria and downtown Washington, D.C., reduced traffic on Interstate 95, support for Amazon Headquarters 2 and increased access to Washington’s Ronald Reagan Airport.

HDR is the lead designer for the project, also providing geotechnical, stormwater, design improvement, and condition assessments and preliminary engineering for the replacement of two bridges.

The new fourth track, expected to begin construction in 2024, will allow freight and passenger trains to primarily operate on separate tracks, two tracks for each type of train. It will increase capacity for intercity, commuter and freight trains, allowing for more commuter rail while reducing the need for over-the-road trucks.

King Street Station

A challenging design issue is the railroad bridges adjacent to Virginia Railway Express and Amtrak’s King Street Station in Alexandria, Virginia. It is a historic station located within 150 feet of the King Street underpass. The bridges are over 100 years old and need major repairs or replacement. Another key consideration is that the King Street bridge has substandard vertical clearance. It does not meet Virginia Department of Transportation design criteria and undergoes frequent bridge strikes that impact rail service and threaten public safety.

Our solution: Develop an optimum track profile that minimizes impacts to the historic King Street Station and allows for bridge replacement of King Street and Commonwealth Avenue Bridges which are currently in the design phase with HDR performing the design. The new King Street Bridge will increase vertical clearance to VDOT standards as well as increasing the horizontal clearances under the bridge. Our innovative bridge design uses reduced floor beam depth, with an optimized track profile.

Minimizing Curve Modifications

Another design challenge was the curve modifications. Our design team incorporated design criteria from the ongoing DC to Richmond high speed rail project, which require lengthening curve spiral lengths to achieve passenger train speed increases. We developed optional curve spiral transitions that meet CSX and American Railway and Maintenance of Way Associations criteria without major horizontal track redesign. This reduced the curves and the cost, while still allowing the trains to reach the appropriate speeds.

King Street station tracks

Alexandria, VA
United States