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Ridership on Amtrak’s Virginia routes hits all-time high

Posted: 30 August 2022 | | No comments yet

Ridership on Amtrak’s state-supported services hit an all-time high in July 2022, with more than 110,000 passengers choosing to travel by train.

Amtrak Virginia

The Virginia Passenger Rail Authority (VPRA) and Amtrak have announced that ridership on its state-supported trains hit an all-time high in July 2022, with more than 110,000 passengers travelling. This is an increase of 28.9 per cent over June 2022 and an increase of 19.8 per cent over pre-pandemic ridership in July 2019.

This comes after the VPRA launched two new roundtrips in July – one to Roanoke and one to Norfolk – with the resumption of an additional roundtrip to Newport News that had been suspended due to the pandemic. These new roundtrips provided more options for Virginians, and they responded by opting to choose to travel by train.

In July 2022, 110,256 passengers travelled on all four state-supported routes. Every route saw an increase in ridership with Newport News topping the list. That route – with stops in Alexandria, Woodbridge, Quantico, Fredericksburg, Ashland, Richmond Staples Mill Station, Richmond Main Street Station, Williamsburg, and Newport News – carried an additional 10,315 passengers in July compared to June – a 54 per cent increase.

The state’s Norfolk route which includes stops in Alexandria, Woodbridge, Quantico, Fredericksburg, Ashland, Richmond Staples Mill Station, Petersburg, and Norfolk, saw the second largest increase from June to July with 40,763 passengers travelling – a 23 per cent increase (+7,669). In addition to beating June, this number was also, a 36.5 per cent increase over the pre-pandemic July 2019 number of 29,864.

DJ Stadtler, Executive Director of VPRA, said: “These numbers make it very clear – Virginians want more passenger rail to be a part of their transportation network. With the launch of two new roundtrips and the resumption of another, we know that rail works for the Commonwealth and look forward to further expanding service throughout the state.”

Ray Lang, Vice President of State Supported Services at Amtrak, said: “We are encouraged by the ridership growth and enthusiasm customers have in selecting Amtrak’s state-supported Virginia service as an option for travel. We will continue to strive to give travellers the best experience possible with congestion free, frequent, convenient and reliable service.”

The service to Roanoke saw an increase of 72.1 per cent in July 2022 as compared to July of 2021, with 27,374 passengers travelling. This route, which includes stops in Alexandria, Burke Centre, Manassas, Culpeper, Charlottesville, Lynchburg, and Roanoke, also beat its pre-pandemic number with a 31.4 per cent increase in July 2022 over July 2019. The Washington, DC to Richmond route, which includes stops in Alexandria, Woodbridge, Quantico, Fredericksburg, Ashland, Richmond Staples Mill Station, and Richmond Main Street Station, continues to perform strongly with ridership of 12,848 passengers in July 2022 – an eight per cent increase over June and a 26.3 per cent increase of July 2019. 

The Commonwealth of Virginia first launched state-supported passenger rail service in 2009 with one roundtrip between Washington, DC and Lynchburg. Since that time, the state’s service has grown to include stops at 17 stations along four corridors. All four corridors provide service to Washington, DC and points north including Philadelphia, New York, and Boston.