Amtrak and Virginia Passenger Rail Authority launch expanded service

Amtrak and Virginia Passenger Rail Authority held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday to celebrate the launch of expanded service between D.C. and Virginia.

Starting Monday, an extra train will leave Norfolk at 1 p.m. and arrive about 4.5 hours later. Also, a new southbound train departs from the District at 12:05 p.m. daily.



An extra round-trip has been added between D.C. and Roanoke, and Amtrak is restoring its daily round-trip from Newport News.

Amtrak CEO Stephen Gardner highlighted the need for the agency to continue expanding its service.

“For 50 years, we’ve been incrementally improving this network. But in fact, Amtrak’s network is smaller than it was in 1971 today, and yet we have 130 million more people in this nation. So rail can do more,” Gardner said, adding that the additional service is only the beginning.

“These additional frequencies today are just the beginning of an incredible transformation that will occur with these next 10 years, providing people throughout the commonwealth with reliable, frequent and competitive service.”

Allison Fultz, chief counsel at the Federal Railroad Administration, highlighted other aspects that benefit from expanding service.

“These investments also expand freight rail capacity, making our supply chain stronger and keeping American America’s economy moving,” Fultz said.

Amtrak and Virginia Passenger Rail Authority held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the launch of expanded service between D.C. and Virginia. (WTOP/Acacia James)

Virginia Passenger Rail Authority Executive Director DJ Stadtler praised the work the agencies have completed, but said more was to come.

“We’re changing the future of rail transportation in Virginia by investing significant dollars in generational infrastructure improvements that will expand high-quality modern passenger rail service across the commonwealth, making it more frequent, more reliable, and more convenient,” Stadtler said.

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