Warner, Kaine request federal funding for Amtrak in Virginia
U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation in support of Virginia’s joint application with Amtrak for matching funds to improve passenger rail service.
Following a recommendation by the National Surface Transportation Board to retire many existing railcars, some of which are more than 40 years old, Virginia is pushing for funding under DOT’s Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair Program to help modernize Amtrak’s fleet and improve ride quality for Virginians.
“Maintaining and repairing current equipment is costly in terms of both safety and efficiency. New railcars will provide safer, better, and more reliable mobility,” the senators wrote in their letter to DOT Secretary Elaine Chao. “This funding, in conjunction with Virginia’s numerous high priority passenger rail projects, will help make state-sponsored service a more reliable and pleasant transportation alternative.”
Virginia is one of 17 states and regional authorities to fund the state-sponsored Amtrak business lines of service, which account for nearly 50 percent of total Amtrak ridership nationwide.
In FY2019, nearly one million individuals used the Amtrak Northeast Regional service, the highest number of riders recorded in the Commonwealth’s history.
Stops along the Northeast corridor include Newport News, Norfolk, Richmond and Roanoke.