Amtrak Signs Agreement with Virginia to Provide New Passenger Rail Service

WASHINGTON – With a new agreement signed with Virginia, Amtrak is now the choice of 15 states to operate their state-funded passenger rail service and is uniquely positioned to develop partnerships with other states, said Amtrak President and CEO Joseph Boardman.

“Amtrak is excited to establish new passenger rail service for Virginia and is seeking opportunities to partner with other states to provide additional rail transportation options,” Boardman stated, highlighting the national reach of the railroad’s extensive network of stations and mechanical and operational facilities as well as its equipment fleet and reservations system.

Boardman stressed that a primary objective of Amtrak is to be the operator of the national high speed rail system being developed by states with new federal funding provided in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Amtrak understands the needs, opportunities and challenges associated with creating and operating new passenger rail service and is able to provide the leadership and technical assistance necessary to successfully help states reach that goal, he said.

Under the Virginia agreement, Amtrak will receive $17.2 million from Virginia over a three-year demonstration period to provide new daily service to Washington, D.C. from Lynchburg beginning in October 2009 and from Richmond beginning in December 2009. Detailed schedules and fares will be finalized by the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation and Amtrak in the coming months.

In addition to Virginia, Amtrak currently has partnership agreements with the following states to operate state-funded passenger rail services: California, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.