The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) and Norfolk Southern have entered into an agreement to improve rail related infrastructure between Lynchburg and Roanoke. The improvements will allow passenger rail to once again serve the Roanoke Region.
“DRPT and Norfolk Southern continue their strong partnership to advance intercity passenger rail service in the state of Virginia,” said Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. “Intercity passenger rail service is central to the commonwealth’s economic growth, vitality and competitiveness in the region. Now the major population centers will have intercity passenger rail service.”
“The historic transportation bill has opened the door for continued expansion and growth of intercity passenger rail service in the state. The extension of intercity passenger train service from Lynchburg to Roanoke would not be possible without passage of this legislation,” said Virginia Transportation Secretary Sean Connaughton.
Included in this agreement are track additions and realignments, signal and communication upgrades along the route, clearance adjustments and a platform and train servicing facility in downtown Roanoke. Design work will begin immediately. In another effort funded by the commonwealth and Norfolk Southern, the downtown Roanoke rail connections are currently being reconfigured to improve the flow of train traffic through Roanoke, which is a prerequisite to reintroducing passenger rail service.