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FairfaxTransportationPassenger traffic hits record on state rail lines

Passenger traffic hits record on state rail lines

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Passenger traffic on trains operated in partnership between Amtrak and the Virginia state government continues to grow and in September reached an all-time single-month high, according to new data.

A total of 105,689 passengers traveled in September on the four routes that receive state subsidies to connect various parts of the commonwealth to Northern Virginia, Union Station and the broader Amtrak network. That’s up 37.6 percent from the passenger counts in September 2019, the most recent comparable pre-COVID month.

Each of the four routes – which connect Union Station to Roanoke, Newport News, Norfolk and Richmond and intermediate points along the way – saw increases, ranging from 14 percent to 65 percent.

“Virginians are continually turning to the train to escape traffic and to travel in a cost-effective and comfortable way,” said D.J. Stadtler, executive director of the Virginia Passenger Rail Authority.

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Before September 2022, the highest passenger count had been set at 99,942 in August 2019.

The program bringing subsidized rail service to Virginia began in 2009 with a single round-trip between Lynchburg and Washington. Today, a total of 17 stations in Virginia are served between the four routes, and travelers can connect at Union Station to points such as Philadelphia, New York City and Boston.

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