Virginia Lawmakers OK New Passenger Agency

Virginia lawmakers have approved creation of a passenger rail authority that would promote extending Amtrak service to the New River Valley region of the state.

The new service would be achieved by extending an existing Amtrak Northeast Regional train to Christiansburg, Virginia.

The new passenger authority would include government bodies and universities that are expected to share the cost of building and maintaining a station in Christiansburg.

Virginia legislators are still negotiating the funding for the new service.

Gov. Ralph Northam is seeking $50 million for rail passenger service, which is what the House of Delegates has approved. The Virginia Senate has approved $137 million.

Officials expect the cost of starting the service could reach $200 million.

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