July 12, 2022
Event hosted at Norfolk Station
RICHMOND & WASHINGTON, DC — The Virginia Passenger Rail Authority (VPRA) and Amtrak today hosted an event to celebrate the launch of a third roundtrip between Norfolk and Washington, DC.
The new frequencies both depart mid-afternoon, arriving at their destinations in the early evening. The new northbound departs Norfolk at 1:00pm and arrives in Washington at 5:37pm. The new southbound departs Washington at 12:05pm and arrives in Norfolk at 4:47pm. After departing Norfolk, the Amtrak Northeast Regional service makes stops at Petersburg, Richmond, Ashland, Fredericksburg, Quantico, Woodbridge, and Alexandria before arriving in Washington.
In addition to the Norfolk service, VPRA and Amtrak are also resuming a roundtrip frequency between Newport News and Washington that had been suspended due to the pandemic.
“More than 154,000 passengers have traveled on the Norfolk service so far this fiscal year,” said DJ Stadtler, executive director of VPRA. “With the addition of a frequency to Norfolk and the resumption of another roundtrip to Newport News, Virginians now have even more rail options when traveling from the Hampton Roads region to points north, including Washington, Philadelphia, New York, and even Boston.”
“Amtrak is proud to partner with Virginia to bring more passenger rail service to Norfolk and mark another significant milestone in the growth of passenger rail in the Commonwealth,” Amtrak CEO Stephen Gardner said. “Additional train service in this region is a vital and attractive alternative for students, business and leisure travelers, residents and the military bound for Washington, D.C., and points north.”
“CSX is proud of our long-term partnership with the Commonwealth and Amtrak to enhance passenger and freight rail service across Virginia,” said Randy Marcus, director of state relations for CSX. “This is the latest example of how collaborative partnerships can improve service for all rail users and ease congestion in Virginia while strengthening the local, state and regional economy.”
“This new roundtrip between Norfolk and the nation’s capital is another step in our historic Transforming Rail in Virginia initiative,” said Virginia Secretary of Transportation Sheppard “Shep” Miller III. “Watching rail ridership grow on our state-supported trains, it is evident that Virginians see rail as a viable transportation option. This new service will provide a valuable mid-day option and will provide long-term economic benefits for every community served. I thank our partners at VPRA, CSX, and Amtrak for their efforts to improve rail service in the Commonwealth.”
“As the nation’s largest intercity passenger rail service, Amtrak is a valuable partner to the Commonwealth in accomplishing its mission of connecting Virginians and communities and expanding its multimodal services,” said Jennifer DeBruhl, Director of the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation and Chair of the Virginia Passenger Rail Authority Board. “Working together with CSX to enhance operations along this corridor, Virginia is moving forward on its pursuit of improving the freight and passenger rail networks to help relieve congestion, save lives, improve air quality, and grow the economy.”
“I want to thank Amtrak for their commitment to providing the third roundtrip train from Norfolk to Washington, D.C. to meet the increasing demand for passenger rail service in the region,” said Norfolk Mayor Kenneth Cooper Alexander. “This important connection adds additional options for our residents and businesses and is in line with Norfolk’s goal of being the most multi-model city in the Commonwealth.”
In April and May of 2022, ridership on the Norfolk Route surpassed the record ridership in the same months in 2019. Comparing year-to-date ridership for the month of April with that of pre-pandemic numbers, the Norfolk service is up 14.5% with 26,195 passengers traveling in April of 2022 compared to 22,874 in April of 2019. In May those numbers grew even more with 28,052 passengers traveling in May of 2022 versus 22,045 in May of 2019, a 27.2% increase in ridership.
Tickets for all of the new frequencies are now available for purchase on Amtrak.com, Amtrak mobile apps, or by calling 800-USA-Rail.
About Virginia Passenger Rail Authority
The Virginia Passenger Rail Authority was established in 2020 to promote, sustain, and expand the availability of passenger and commuter rail service in the Commonwealth. VPRA is committed to delivering passenger rail service as an integrated, affordable, and convenient travel option and plays a critical role in mitigating current and future traffic congestion on Virginia’s highways, promoting economic development, and connecting communities by increasing passenger rail capacity, services, and ridership.
For 50 years, Amtrak has connected America and transformed transportation by modernizing train travel and building for the future. Amtrak will continue to play an important role in the national transportation network for the next 50 years and beyond by operating a safe, environmentally efficient and fiscally responsible business by providing travelers with an experience that sets a new standard. Book travel, check train status, access your eTicket and more through the Amtrak app. Learn more at Amtrak.com and connect with us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.