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Second Roanoke passenger train to start in July

Published: May. 23, 2022 at 7:02 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Passenger rail service to and from the New River Valley won’t start until 2026, but a second train serving Roanoke could begin operating this summer.

Monday afternoon, members of the Virginia Passenger Rail Authority Board were told the second train is likely to start in July, pending final agreement with Norfolk Southern and Amtrak. In the draft schedule presented to board members, the second train would leave Roanoke at 4:35 p.m. arriving in Washington, D.C. at 9:35 p.m.

Board members also learned Roanoke ridership has rebounded to 2019 levels.

Michael McLaughlin is Chief Operating Officer of the Virginia Passenger Rail Authority.

“Our Roanoke route ridership has now surpassed that 2019 number for the month of April. I just want to clarify that’s not for the whole year, but our trends are going upward, which is good, which is very good.”

McLaughlin also briefed the board on the search for a passenger station site in the New River Valley. He said the search has narrowed to just two locations, both at the New River Valley Mall.

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