Monday, June 05, 2017

Amtrak ramping up for Roanoke

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Amtrak on June 5 began operating non-scheduled, non-revenue trains between Lynchburg and Roanoke, Va., to train and qualify T&E (train and engine service) crews for new, extended Northeast Regional service expected to start in the fall of this year.

Northeast Regional service will extend from Lynchburg to Roanoke and will operate one round-trip seven days per week. Amtrak, the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT), Norfolk Southern and the city of Roanoke have been working to bring passenger rail service back to the city for the first time in four decades. The extended service will provide a same-seat trip to and from Roanoke and to Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City, and other cities along the Northeast Corridor.

Northeast Regional service to Roanoke will be the fourth expansion of intercity passenger rail in the Commonwealth of Virginia since 2009 following new or additional service to Lynchburg, Richmond, and Norfolk.

“The effort to expand rail options in Virginia has been made possible by the Commonwealth’s more than $100 million strategic investment in Norfolk Southern’s rail infrastructure, which makes this intercity passenger service extension possible,” Amtrak said. “Amtrak and DRPT continue a partnership to provide more intercity passenger rail travel in Virginia. Instead of driving on congested highway corridors like I-81, Route 29, I-95, and Route 460, travelers can use rail as a way to expand mobility and increase connectivity for travel throughout the regions served along the Northeast Corridor.”

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