Amtrak to Operate Qualifying Trains for New Roanoke Service

June 5, 2017

Operations to train crews across territory

WASHINGTON – Amtrak, in collaboration with the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT), and Norfolk Southern, will begin operating non-scheduled trains on Monday, June 5. These trains serve as training for locomotive engineers and train conductors to learn the tracks and territory between Lynchburg and Roanoke. These trains will carry no passengers and are expected to operate two times per day, five days a week.

Operating qualifying trains is an essential step toward completing the project to bring intercity passenger rail service to Roanoke in the fall. Amtrak Northeast Regional service will extend from Lynchburg to Roanoke and will operate one round-trip seven days per week.

Amtrak, DRPT, and the city of Roanoke are working to bring intercity passenger rail service back to the city for the first time in four decades. The Northeast Regional 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 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 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.

For More Information

Kimberly Woods

Kelsey Webb

Susan Terpay

About Amtrak®

Amtrak – America’s Railroad® – is dedicated to safe and reliable mobility as the nation’s intercity passenger rail service provider and its high-speed rail operator. With our state and commuter partners, we move people, the economy and the nation forward, carrying more than 30 million Amtrak passengers for each of the past five years. Formally known as the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, Amtrak is governed by a 10-member board of directors, nine of whom are appointed by the President of the United States plus the Amtrak CEO. Anthony R. Coscia is board chairman and Jeffrey R. Moreland is vice chairman.  Amtrak operates more than 300 trains daily – at speeds up to 150 mph (241 kph) – connecting more than 500 destinations in 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian Provinces. Learn more at or call 800-USA-RAIL for schedules, fares and other information. Check us out at, Like us on and Follow us on Twitter @Amtrak.

About DRPT

The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation’s mission is to improve the mobility of people and goods while expanding transportation choices in the Commonwealth through rail, public transportation and commuter services. DRPT provides nearly $700 million in funding that is allocated to over 40 transit services, as well as Amtrak, Class 1, and short-line railroads. The agency works with local, regional, state and federal governments, as well as private entities, to provide the necessary support for maintaining the stability and growth of transit and rail in Virginia. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

About Norfolk Southern

Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) is one of the nation’s premier transportation companies. Its Norfolk Southern Railway Company subsidiary operates approximately 19,500 route miles in 22 states and the District of Columbia, serves every major container port in the eastern United States, and provides efficient connections to other rail carriers. Norfolk Southern operates the most extensive intermodal network in the East and is a major transporter of coal, automotive, and industrial products.