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All aboard; 2012 Norfolk-Richmond rail service expected

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RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – Governor McDonnell announced a new Norfolk-Richmond-Washington rail service to start at the end of 2012. Additionally, the line will go as far north as Boston.

The projected date is 10 months earlier than originally projected, said the Governor, in a press release.

It has been 34 years since this train service was last in operation for Norfolk city.

Many track upgrades have to be made, and will cost the state $115 million.

“This service will provide immediate relief to road weary travelers between two of the state’s most congested regions” said Governor McDonnell, in a release.

“This service is long overdue and I congratulate our partners and commend their cooperation in moving up the scheduled start date.”

Several partners have been involved in the necessary upgrades for completion; the Commonwealth’s Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT), CSX, Norfolk Southern and the City of Norfolk.

Amtraksaid in the release that there is a high demand for such passenger rail service. Many Amtrak routes had increase in riders, according to the release, with sizable gains on routes to/from Washington D.C.