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New campaign to advocate for passenger rail in the New River Valley

By Joe Dashiell, jdashiell@wdbj7.com
Published On: Aug 20 2013 07:23:48 PM EDT
Updated On: Aug 20 2013 09:31:04 PM EDT

In a few years, Roanoke will see the service come back, thanks to new transportation funding.

BLACKSBURG, Va. -

Passenger rail hasn't reached Roanoke yet, but more communities in western Virginia are working to make sure the Star City isn't the end of the line.

With new transportation funding, Roanoke should see the return of passenger rail in the next few years. The ultimate goal is to extend service to Bristol.

Delegate Joseph Yost and The Blacksburg Partnership want to make sure the train stops in the New River Valley.

"You know we have Radford University and Virginia Tech, two major state Universities that bring in over 35-thousand students every year, with increased traffic from their family members, their friends, their parents coming in and out," Yost said in an interview Tuesday afternoon. "Passenger rail would offer a very safe and economical way for them to travel throughout the area."

Yost and The Blacksburg Partnership are enlisting the support of individuals, businesses, local governments and universities. They are hoping passenger rail advocates will submit comments to the Department of Rail and Public Transportation supporting the New River Valley service by the end of the month.