WASHINGTON – Passengers can sleep a little longer as weekday departures for Amtrak Virginia Train 174 from Norfolk moves to 5 a.m. beginning on July 29. Recently completed track improvements shave 10 minutes off trip time to Washington, D.C.
“The later departure time of the weekday Amtrak Virginia train out of Norfolk will not change existing arrival times along the route,” said Thelma Drake, director of the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT). “Passengers in Southside Hampton Roads will continue to enjoy a more relaxing and dependable way to travel as an alternative to experiencing traffic delays along the I-64 and I-95 corridors.”
Norfolk Southern made state-funded track and signal improvements along the Route 460 corridor between Petersburg and Norfolk to accommodate intercity passenger rail travel. The improvements include the construction of additional crossovers, signals and main line tracks and sidings that will accommodate greater flexibility in passenger/freight train movements, increase capacity to allow for the three-round trip intercity passenger train movements per day and improve train travel times.
The new 5 a.m. departure time, from 4:50 a.m., is the latest development for the service. Since it started in December 2012, more than 70,000 passengers have traveled on the passenger rail service route between Washington, D.C., and Norfolk. The service provides a same-seat trip from Norfolk to Petersburg, Richmond, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia and cities as far north as Boston.
“Since the day we inaugurated service, we have had great support from the Norfolk community. The track work and schedule improvements show the commitment of all the partners – Amtrak, Norfolk Southern and DRPT – to bring the best possible service to the Norfolk community,” said Amtrak Vice President of Government Affairs and Corporate Communications Joe McHugh. “We look forward to continuing the partnership and further expanding service in the Commonwealth.”
DRPT, Amtrak, Norfolk Southern, CSX, and the city of Norfolk worked to start the service that extends the Amtrak Northeast Regional to and from Norfolk. 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.
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.