A Message to Our D.C. Neighbors

CSX understands that this is your neighborhood and you have a vested interest in making sure CSX completes this project the right way. We’ve actively engaged with the community with a robust two-way communication program that includes regular website updates, email blasts, door-hangers and flyers, social media and SMS (text) alerts, community meetings (monthly Coffee with Chuck and quarterly Open House meetings), and regular hours at the CSX Community Office. Please check out this page to learn more about our community engagement efforts and our upcoming meetings.

At CSX, we are committed to making a positive impact in every community we touch – here in the District of Columbia and across our network.

The Virginia Avenue Tunnel project replaces infrastructure that is more than 110 years old. The modernized tunnel will alleviate a critical rail bottleneck as well as help reduce highway congestion in the District, in the Washington region and nationwide. It’s part of our efforts to constantly improve service to our customers here in D.C. and across the eastern United States. With the community’s help, we now have plans for community enhancements that we hope will create an even more beautiful, livable Capitol Hill, Navy Yard and Southeast DC community.

We recognize this much-needed project will temporarily disrupt some of our D.C. neighbors. That’s why we engaged the community throughout the planning and consideration of this critical infrastructure improvement program. We listened and learned about the concerns and needs of the neighborhood. We have modified our plans to alleviate some of those concerns already while others will be addressed as we renovate the tunnel.

CSX is fully committed to continuing this community engagement throughout the permitting and construction phases of the project. Our engagement will include – but is not limited to – dedicated staff at the project’s community office, community meetings, and regular online and mail updates. As we have stated before, we promise to take every measure to ensure safe operations and construction, to limit disturbances and leave this great neighborhood even better.

We expect you hold us to our commitment, and we hope we will continue to hear from you. You can visit us at our Community Office at 861 New Jersey Avenue SE, or Contact Us through this website.

Our Commitments to The Virginia Avenue Community

We understand that this is your neighborhood. We all have a vested interest in making sure this project is completed the right way. We expect to be held accountable by federal and local government agencies as well as you, the local residents, to the following commitments:

  • We will complete this project the right way – safely, carefully and efficiently.
  • Safety will be our top priority during all steps of construction.
  • If a problem occurs, we will address it. We take full responsibility to protect adjacent buildings from damage, and have established a straightforward claims process.
  • We will make significant investments in the community to offset inconveniences and leave this community even better than we found it.
  • We will continue an open, two-way dialogue with the community each step of the way, and welcome your feedback and comments.

How this Project Benefits the District

By allowing CSX to operate double-stack intermodal freight trains through this vital segment of the nation’s rail network, the reconstruction of the Virginia Avenue Tunnel will eliminate a major chokepoint caused by the tunnel’s single track and will improve both employee and community safety. The Virginia Avenue Tunnel will be part of a CSX regional freight rail network of 21,000 miles of track in 23 states and Canada, which will stimulate job growth and economic activity, reduce congestion on the nation’s highways and increase the flow of fuel-efficient trains.

Safety and Neighborhood Impact

  • Improves the safety of the tunnel by using newer construction technologies and practices, including updated signaling and security features.
  • Reduces vibrations by installing a new floor to the Virginia Avenue Tunnel, along with other upgrades to the tunnel.
  • Eliminates two locations where trains currently have to stop and start, further reducing train noise and emissions.


  • Eliminates a major bottleneck for freight rail traffic through the District of Columbia, which currently impedes the growth of freight and passenger rail services in and around the District and the Greater Washington Metropolitan Region.
  • Reduces the impact on passenger service, which is caused by freight trains waiting for oncoming traffic to pass through the single-tracked tunnel on the part of the line shared with passenger trains.

Economic Benefits

  • Supports District business by improving access to freight rail and creating regional logistic savings that are passed down to customers.
  • Generates approximately $250 million in local benefits associated with direct and indirect jobs, including approximately $5 million in taxes to the District of Columbia.
  • Ensures local businesses and qualified employees receive first consideration for new jobs created by the project.

Neighborhood Benefits

Throughout the planning and consideration of the Virginia Avenue Tunnel project, we have had the opportunity to address the needs and concerns of many local residents. As we work to build a better, safer Virginia Avenue Tunnel, we recognize that this project will cause disruptions for some of our D.C. neighbors. We are ready to make significant investments to lessen these disruptions and leave this great community even better than it is today.

Residents have helped identify opportunities for CSX to invest in the community now and in the future. We’ve already worked to address some of the needs the community identified, including building the temporary fenced area in Virginia Avenue Park to help Taylor Elementary and installing a water filtration system at Canal Park to catch storm water runoff from the Capital Quarter homes.

As the project moves forward, CSX will continue to enhance the community. Our commitments include improving access to Garfield Park for visitors with disabilities, constructing an official dog park in Virginia Avenue Park, adding a new park space between 4th and 6th Streets and including a new continuous bike path between 2nd and 9th Streets that will connect Garfield Park and Virginia Avenue Park when we reconstruct Virginia Avenue Tunnel. CSX will also provide the neighborhood with new landscaping as well as new road, sidewalk, street lighting, crosswalk and traffic signal enhancements.

Additionally, the project will make the Virginia Avenue Tunnel safer and more secure and will result in less rail noise and emissions:

  • During reconstruction of the Virginia Avenue Tunnel, CSX will employ newer construction technologies and practices that will improve the safety of the tunnel, including updated signaling and security features.
  • The installation of a new floor to the Virginia Avenue Tunnel, along with other upgrades to the construction of the tunnel, will reduce vibrations from freight rail traffic.
  • CSX will be able to eliminate two locations where trains currently have to stop and start, reducing train noise and emissions.

We are proud to be part of this community, and our commitment to this community will continue after the tunnel’s reconstruction is complete.

Beyond Our Rails

Our responsibility to the communities we serve is much greater than simply connecting people, products and places. Every day, we demonstrate our commitment to safety, community, environment and wellness in the cities, towns and neighborhoods throughout our 21,000–mile network.

CSX and its employees engage in activities that generate a positive influence within the communities in which we operate. Our corporate giving initiatives provide financial and volunteer support for education, programming, development and improvement projects that make communities safer, greener and healthier.

Learn more about our commitments to the communities where we live and work at Beyond Our Rails.