Long Train Runnin’

Norfolk Southern to serve the New River Valley for the first time in more than 40 years.

Metadata by Sharde Shorts

Negative # 33246, Passenger Station, Christiansburg, Va. 5/31/49, Folder= Stations, Va, Christiansburg

(Norfolk Southern Corporation, by Jay Paul)

The last time Norfolk Southern Railway offered passenger service to Southwest Virginia, the year was 1979, and “My Sharona” was topping the Billboard charts.

Now, in a $257 million initiative with the state, the railway has announced plans to extend service to Christiansburg—a boon to nearby Virginia Tech and the New River Valley. Additional stops in Bedford and Bristol are also under consideration. The move will connect the region to Washington, D.C., New York, and points in-between.

Don’t pack your bags just yet. Full service will begin in 2025, following infrastructure improvements. In the meantime, starting in 2022, a morning train from D.C. will make daily stops in Alexandria, Burke, Manassas, Culpeper, Charlottesville, Lynchburg, and Roanoke. This service will complement Roanoke’s existing daily passenger train, which leaves each morning, bound for D.C. and back.

“Virginia and Norfolk Southern worked cooperatively to reach the Commonwealth’s goal of expanding passenger rail service in the New River Valley, while also preserving the vital role these lines play in delivering the goods and materials that drive the regional economy,” says James A. Squires, President and CEO of Norfolk Southern. NSCorp.com


This article originally appeared in the October 2021 issue.

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