Study shows Bedford Amtrak stop would attract 26,000 additional riders

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BEDFORD, Va. Advocates who want a passenger train station in Bedford have new numbers to support their argument.

A new study performed by the engineering firm Wendel shows a train stop in Bedford would attract around 26,000 additional riders to Amtrak. That figure is beyond the number of passengers who would board at Kemper Street Station in Lynchburg and the future train station in Roanoke.

Funding for the report was secured by the Bedford-Franklin Regional Rail Initiative.

They hope to use the data to convince the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation to approve a Bedford stop when Amtrak's passenger rail service is extended to Roanoke next year.

"This feasibility study only proves our point that Bedford is a great place for a passenger rail stop,” said Bedford town council member, Beck Stanley.

The Wendel study includes conceptual plans for a Bedford station, which calls for a covered platform along Plunkett Street.

A climate-controlled building and additional parking could be added later, if the station is successful.