New Amtrak service to Norfolk starts Wednesday

Cheers went up as people watched an Amtrak train arrive in Norfolk Tuesday afternoon, bringing passenger rail service back to the city for the first time in 35 years.

Tuesday’s inaugural run carried city leaders and officials with Amtrak and Norfolk Southern to several stops around the state before the final stop in Norfolk.

The trains will start carrying passengers Wednesday morning.

During the week, the train will depart from Norfolk daily at 4:50 a.m. and arrive in the evening shortly before 9.

The times are slightly different on the weekend.

People will be able to travel to Richmond, Washington D.C., New York and beyond.

The new train service is starting ten months earlier than first expected.

Extending Amtrak service to Norfolk was part of a more than $100 million project , mostly paid for by the state, to upgrade existing Norfolk Southern tracks.

There is still some work to be done.  A train station needs to be built at the stop located near Harbor Park.  It’s expected to be completed in fall of 2013. 

Tickets will not be sold at the stop until the station is complete.  Until then, people can purchase them on Amtrak’s website at amtrakvirginia.com or by calling 1-900-USA-RAIL. 

A ticket from Norfolk to D.C. will typically cost $38.  For the month of December, they’re only $19, but it has to be booked by Dec. 17.  A ride to New York is $63.

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