11.12.12

NORFOLK TO BRUNSWICK BY RAIL.

The southern end of one-seat train riding out of Boston is now Norfolk.
In recent years, Virginia’s Amtrak service has blossomed, as an extension of the Northeast Corridor. In addition to long-distance trains to Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Louisiana, Virginia hosts five NEC trains each way to Richmond (two of which extend east to Newport News, across the Hampton Roads waterway from Norfolk) and one to Lynchburg in southern Virginia.

Amazingly, the state-supported trains to Norfolk and Lynchburg were created in record time, just six months for the Lynchburg run and 24 months for Norfolk. At today’s ceremony in Ashland, [Amtrak president Joe] Boardman said, “Virginia is a state we can work with to deliver passenger service. These people get it, that we need a balanced transportation system.”

Added [Norfolk Southern CEO Wick] Moorman at the ribbon-cutting in Richmond, “This is a great day for the long-suffering citizens of Hampton Roads. By the time we drive to Richmond we’re exhausted.”

The Norfolk service is an extension of existing New York-Richmond and Richmond-Boston trains. The weekday morning northbound train from Norfolk to Boston, No. 174, previously originated in Richmond, just as No. 125 on weekdays previously terminated there from New York. Weekend service will operate on different schedules.
The way Mr Moorman describes the peninsular roads, you'd think Robert E. Lee and George McClellan were still contesting the river crossings.

And thus residents of the Official Region have direct service from Boston to Lynchburg (could you name the northbound The Puritan and the southbound The Evangelical?)  Getting through Boston is a challenge, but service north of Portland is also now available.

Meanwhile, the corridor service out of Chicago to Dubuque and Moline slowly gets out of the planning phase, and the last passenger service north of Milwaukee to Green Bay ran on 30 April 1971.

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