A multimillion-dollar effort to transform Main Street Station into a regional hub for high-speed rail inches forward, while questions linger about the project's feasibility.
City Council appropriated $937,576 in state-provided funds last week as part of the project — a redesign of the train shed that sits adjacent to Main Street Station and other capital improvements. The state money is a small part of the project's estimated $66.4 million price tag.
The project is moving forward despite other obstacles that make higher-speed rail increasingly unlikely in the near future. State officials say that $600 million would be needed to upgrade freight train lines from Petersburg to downtown to turn Main Street Station into a rail hub.
Project Manager Viktoria Badger says renovations to the train shed are expected to be completed by 2012.