NORFOLK---The stars have aligned when it comes to rail and public transit in Hampton Roads, according to one of the top transportation experts in the region.

'I think this is just the beginning of a much bigger initiative,' said Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization Executive Director Dwight Farmer.

His prediction comes on the heels of new transportation legislation out of the General Assembly.

Farmer says the controversial tax reform included in the bill is expected to generate $44 million for intercity passenger rail by fiscal year 2014.

Farmer says that could translate into two additional trains running out of the Harbor Park Amtrak Station in the next few years.

It connects passengers in the region to a list of destinations up north, including Washington D.C., New York and Boston.

The increase in sales tax from five to 5.3% will be the main source of revenue for rail in the region.

Farmer says the area has never seen this kind of dedicated funding source.

'It means we can make some long-term commitments with the Federal Railroad Administration,' said Farmer.

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