The Virginia Passenger Rail Authority (VPRA) and Amtrak have collaborated to launch a third roundtrip passenger train daily between Norfolk and Washington, D.C.
The new frequencies both depart mid-afternoon, arriving at their destinations in the early evening.
The new northbound departs Norfolk at 1 p.m. and arrives in Washington at 5:37 p.m. There are intermediate stops at Petersburg, Richmond, Ashland, Fredericksburg, Quantico, Woodbridge and Alexandria. The new southbound departs Washington at 12:05 p.m. and arrives in Norfolk at 4:47 p.m.
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 D.J. 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.”
Norfolk Mayor Kenneth Cooper Alexander said the service would be especially helpful to residents of his city.
“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,” Alexander said.
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 percent 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-percent increase in ridership.