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All Aboard! Intercity passenger rail service returns to the Roanoke area for first time in 40 years

Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT), along with Amtrak and the City of Roanoke, are hosting the inaugural run today, Oct. 30, of the new Amtrak Virginia service extension to Roanoke.

A ceremony in downtown Roanoke began at noon as the train arrived with invited guests from Lynchburg.  Virginia Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne, as well as representatives from the City of Roanoke, General Assembly, and Amtrak were to speak at the ceremony.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, the train was to open to the public for viewing.

“This is a momentous occasion for the Commonwealth of Virginia as we celebrate an expansion years in the making. We celebrate the hard work and dedication it took to see this project through from start to finish, and we celebrate Virginia’s commitment to improve the mobility of people and goods throughout the state,” Secretary Layne was quoted as saying in a news release.

The completion of this project is indicative of the state’s commitment to expanding transportation options to the people of Virginia.

DRPT, in collaboration with Amtrak, the City of Roanoke, and Norfolk Southern, worked to bring intercity passenger rail service back to the area 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.

“Virginia will never stop working to expand mobility for its citizens, and the completion of this project is a great reminder that transportation is a priority in Virginia. This expansion will not only connect Virginians to other areas of the state but also positively contribute to the economy as we bring more riders into the Commonwealth,” DRPT Director Jennifer Mitchell was quoted as saying in the news release.

This expansion has been made possible by the state;s $100+ million strategic investment in Norfolk Southern’s rail network and allows DRPT and Amtrak to continue a partnership to provide travel options to travelers.

Full revenue service will begin on Tuesday, Oct. 31 at 6:19 a.m. Tickets are available at

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