Information published on 20 June 2017 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 553.

United States: Amtrak to operate qualifying trains for new Roanoke service

Operations to train crews across territory

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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.

(Source: Amtrak)