Sunday, April 14, 2024

Amtrak’s Virginia Routes Hit Record Level Paced by Travel to Newport News

A woman was hit and killed by an Amtrak train Friday afternoon. (Andrew Harris/WYDaily)
(WYDaily file)

RICHMOND — The Virginia Passenger Rail Authority (VPRA) and Amtrak reported record ridership in August, topping the previous record set in July, with travel to Newport News leading the way with 33,055 passengers traveling to the Tidewater Region.

For the month of August, 119,280 passengers traveled on all four state-supported routes, an increase of 8.2% over the 110,256 that traveled in July. Travel to Newport News saw 33,055 passengers, a 12.9% increase over July, according to VPRA. The Newport News corridor includes stops in Alexandria, Woodbridge, Quantico, Fredericksburg, Ashland, Richmond Staples Mill Station, Richmond Main Street Station, Williamsburg, and Newport News.

“The continued growth of our state-supported Amtrak service shows that rail is not only a viable part of Virginia’s transportation network, it’s a necessary part,” said DJ Stadtler, Executive Director of VPRA. “Every day we are working towards our mission of providing more rail options across the Commonwealth.”

VPRA noted the increase included the resumption of one roundtrip that had been suspended during the pandemic, fueling a 28.5% increase in ridership along the Newport News corridor compared to August of last year.

Service to Roanoke and Norfolk also saw increases following the July launch of two new roundtrips according to VPRA — one to each city.

“The demand to travel on Amtrak’s state-supported Virginia service is strong and growing,” said Ray Lang, Vice President of State Supported Services at Amtrak. “We thank customers for choosing an energy-efficient way to travel in the U.S.”

(Virginia Passenger Rail Authority)

The Commonwealth of Virginia first launched its state-supported passenger rail service in 2009 with a roundtrip between Washington, DC and Lynchburg, and it has since grown to include eight roundtrips daily with stops at 17 stations along four corridors. All four corridors provide service to Washington, DC and points north including Philadelphia, New York, and Boston.

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