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1/20/2012



Rail News: Passenger Rail

Amtrak service launch in Norfolk moved up to late December


On Wednesday, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell announced that the expected start date of the Amtrak Virginia extension to and from Norfolk will begin by Dec. 31, about 10 months earlier than originally planned.

The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, CSX Transportation, Norfolk Southern Railway and Norfolk city officials have been working “speedily” to complete necessary upgrades to begin the service, Amtrak and state officials said in a prepared statement.

The round-trip train will bring intercity passenger-rail service to Norfolk for the first time since 1977. It will link Norfolk riders to stops in Richmond, Va., Washington, D.C., and other cities as far north as Boston.

“This service will provide immediate relief to road weary travelers between two of the state’s most congested regions,” McDonnell said.

Adds Joe McHugh, Amtrak vice president of government affairs and corporate communications: “There is high demand for passenger-rail service in Virginia as demonstrated by considerable ridership growth throughout the commonwealth.”

The Norfolk train marks the third service expansion launched under the Amtrak Virginia partnership, which brought service to Richmond and Lynchburg in October 2009. Virginia is the 15th state to partner with Amtrak for intercity passenger-rail service.



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