State finalizes deal to expand passenger rail to New River Valley
The agreement between the state and Norfolk Southern finalized Thursday will bring passenger service to the New River Valley for the first time since 1979.
The deal will add a second state-supported daily train between Roanoke and Washington later this year. That service will be expanded to the Christiansburg area when a new
station and track improvements are completed. A feasibility study of the station location is currently underway, though construction might not be finished until 2025.
As part of the agreement, the state will acquire 28 miles of Norfolk Southern track between Christiansburg and Salem and a passenger easement to use NS rails between Salem and the Roanoke station. The announcement from the governor's office says existing freight rail service along the line will be preserved.
The governor’s office says the New River Valley expansion is expected to serve about 80-thousand passengers in its first year.