Diamond State Rail Line Corridor Study

The Diamond State Line Rail Corridor Study will determine the feasibility to begin passenger rail service south from Wilmington or Newark through Dover, to Harrington, and then continue southbound along one of two potential routes to either Salisbury or Berlin, Maryland. Station stops in between Wilmington and Salisbury or Berlin are tentatively envisioned at towns and activity centers along the corridors, but specific station locations will be identified in Step 1 once the route alternative(s) are determined.

The Diamond State Line study seeks to address the acute shortage of viable transportation options in a corridor shed that lacks both a direct interstate highway connection and the passenger rail option that other Northeast states and regions enjoy. It would also connect rural and environmental justice communities in the Delmarva peninsula providing enhanced access and mobility to activity centers such as housing, educational institutions, medical facilities, and retail and commercial services. It would restore passenger rail access to and from Delaware’s largest cities and provide opportunities for multimodal connections to the communities that swell in numbers during the summer. This project supports DelDOT’s goals of enhancing equity by serving historically underserved communities with inadequate access to life’s opportunities.

This initial phase of Corridor Development (Step 1) will be funded with the Federal Rail Administration (FRA) Corridor Identification and Development Grant, and managed by DTC/DelDOT. Completing this Step 1 feasibility study will set the stage for the next phases of this project, which will include service planning, preliminary engineering, and environmental work. Should the study move forward into Step 2, the required cost share of State and local funding will be identified and secured. We will develop an achievable strategy to pursue and secure potential available funding in a financial plan that supports the design, implementation, and ongoing operation and maintenance of the Diamond State Line.

Please contact Dave Gula, Principal Planner, at dgula@wilmapco.org or 302-737-6205 x122, if you have any questions about this project.