WASHINGTON – The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) and Amtrak announce more than 70,000 passengers have traveled on the passenger rail service route between Washington, D.C., and Norfolk.
Service to Norfolk started on Dec. 12, 2012, and provides a same-seat trip from the city to Petersburg, Richmond, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia and cities as far north as Boston.
“With the addition of the Norfolk train, residents of Southside Hampton Roads now have three reliable Amtrak alternatives in Norfolk to get to their destinations on time, instead of experiencing traffic delays in one of the most highly-congested areas of the State,” said Thelma Drake, director of DRPT. “Travelers have the option to choose direct train service from Norfolk, or board one of two Amtrak Thruway buses to the Newport News station. Three different departure and arrival times at Norfolk allow passengers to plan trips that work best for their busy schedules.”
The DRPT, Amtrak, Norfolk Southern, CSX, and the city of Norfolk worked to start the service that extends the Amtrak Northeast Regional service to and from Norfolk.
“The service expands mobility, increases connectivity and travel options to one of the state’s most populous regions,” Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman said. “Passenger rail is a vital alternative in Virginia’s overall transportation solution and contributes to its current and future economic success.”
To serve passengers in Norfolk, construction is under way for a train station adjacent to Harbor Park. It is expected to be completed in the fall.
“The success of the Amtrak service solidifies Norfolk as one of the most multi-modal connected cities in the Commonwealth,” Mayor Paul Fraim said. “Amtrak Virginia is a great partner providing a reasonable means of travel to Norfolk and neighboring communities.”
The round-trip train marked the return of intercity passenger rail service to Norfolk for the first time since 1977.
The Norfolk train is the third service expansion launched under the Amtrak Virginia partnership, which has introduced service to Lynchburg in October 2009, followed by Richmond in July 2010. Virginia is the 15th state to partner with Amtrak for intercity passenger rail service, and the successful launch of these new services is made possible through the partnership between DRPT, Amtrak and the host railroads along the routes.
Amtrak is America’s Railroad®, the nation’s intercity passenger rail service and its high-speed rail operator. Amtrak and its state and commuter partners move people, the economy and the nation forward. Formally known as the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, Amtrak is governed by a nine member board of directors appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Anthony R. Coscia is board chairman and Jeffrey R. Moreland is vice chairman. In FY 2014, nearly 31 million passengers traveled on Amtrak on more than 300 daily trains – at speeds up to 150 mph (241 kph) – that connect 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian Provinces. Enjoy the journey® at Amtrak.com or call 800-USA-RAIL for schedules, fares and more information. Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter (@Amtrak) and check out our blog at blog.amtrak.com.
About Amtrak Virginia:
Amtrak Virginia is a program developed by the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) and Amtrak to provide more rail travel choices in Virginia. The new service promotes economic, tourism and environmental benefits. For more information visit AmtrakVirginia.com.