Amtrak coming to Roanoke

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The Star City will have passenger train service for the first time in 34 years, Gov. Bob McDonnell’s office announced Friday.

 Work to bring Amtrak Virginia service to Roanoke, as an extension of the successful Lynchburg line, is expected to take three to four years.

“Conceptual design work and rail capacity analysis is already underway. Work will be done by Norfolk Southern, Amtrak and the City of Roanoke,” Thelma Drake, director of the Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT), said in a statement.

The return of passenger rail to Roanoke is a result of the transportation bill that passed this year’s Virginia General Assembly session. The plan provides more than $3.4 billion in additional statewide transportation funding over the next six years.

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