First Train out of Roanoke

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First Train out of Roanoke

This morning I had the opportunity to take my first train trip out of Roanoke’s new Amtrak station, and my second Amtrak trip across Virginia.

We’ve established a Zagster bikeshare station right outside the Amtrak platform.

(I say “new” but the platform in Downtown Roanoke has been open for about a year now, with the train leaving regularly atut after  6:19 each morning – but after 40 years of no passenger service, I think the first year still counts as new).

I am on my way to Washington DC to attend an awards luncheon for the Chesapeake Chapter of the Association for Commuter Transportation, where I hear a rumor that RIDE Solutions may be receiving an award.  I don’t get to attend many transportation related meetings in the DC/Northern Virginia area, but with passenger rail service in place it certainly increases the likelihood of getting to network with my colleagues elsewhere in the state.

Not only is the trip about the same length as driving, but I’ve been able to use Amtrak’s on-board WiFi to contribute to the Regional Commission’s Bicycle Friendly Business application, catch up on some email with Enterprise Rideshare in support of our recent partnership with the West Piedmont Planning District Commission, and…well, write this blog post, among other things.

For a view from my window seat, head over to our Twitter page for a short video of the gorgeous Virginia countryside (and follow us while you are there).

Having access to passenger rail is a real treat, and if you haven’t had a chance to take the train to DC (or beyond!) I highly recommend hopping on board.

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