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Virginia signs agreement with Amtrak

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Virginia has signed an agreement with Amtrak under which the commonwealth will assume greater costs associated with making intercity passenger rail service available between Washington, D.C., and Lynchburg, Newport News and Norfolk, including Richmond.

Under federal law, the operating and capital cost-sharing agreement with Amtrak needed to be in place no later than  Oct. 1 or all Virginia regional rail service would have ceased.

According to the governor's office, more than 1.5 million people either board or disembark on a train in Virginia.WHEN?

“With this agreement between Virginia and Amtrak, we can continue to provide for existing regional intercity passenger rail service and work toward extending new service from Lynchburg into Roanoke and extend more service to Norfolk,” Gov. Bob McDonnell said in a statement.

The agreement between Virginia and Amtrak is part of Section 209 of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 (PRIIA), a federal law that requires Amtrak to work with the 19 affected states to establish a consistent cost-sharing methodology for the 28 corridor routes of less than 750 miles in order to ensure fair and equitable treatment of all states.
Starting in late 2010, Amtrak and the Section 209 State Working Group, comprised of representatives from California, Maine, North Carolina, Virginia, and Wisconsin, developed a cost-sharing methodology that ultimately received approval for implementation by the Surface Transportation Board.

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