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Regional Amtrak Train Celebrates its First Successful Year of Service

Central Virginia's first new passenger rail service in over half-a-century has just turned one year old,  and local elected leaders from Charlottesville, Albemarle County and CvilleRail joined State and Amtrak officials at the Charlottesville Amtrak station to wish the train a "Happy Birthday." 

Amtrak's Northeast Regional made history on September 30, 2009 when it pulled into Charlottesville on its gala Whistle Stop Tour, the first state-funded train in Virginia history, and also the first new route on Virginia's Piedmont Corridor in over half a century.  Governor Timothy M. Kaine, former Governor Linwood Holton, Amtrak President Joe Boardman, Norfolk Southern President Wick Moorman, and a slew of state and local officials were on-hand to welcome the train on its inaugural run.

Thelma Drake, Director of the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, which is funding the train, was the highlighted speaker.  Drake reviewed the first year performance of the new passenger service, showcasing a "Report Card" on the train's performance along with local speakers. Jay McArthur, Amtrak's Principal Officer East for Policy and Development, also spoke at the event. 

"We have a record-breaking first year to celebrate," said Meredith Richards, Founder and Chairman of CvilleRail, which spearheaded the campaign to bring the new service to Charlottesville and the Piedmont Rail Corridor.  "This train is proving that if you give people a convenient, comfortable, affordable and reliable alternative to driving to Washington and New York City, they will use it in record numbers."

The Northeast Regional begins its daily run in Lynchburg.  It departs Charlottesville at 8:52 a.m. on its way to Washington, DC, BWI Airport, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Newark, New York City, New Haven, and Boston. It makes stops in Culpeper, Manassas, Alexandria and Burke Center in Virginia on its way to Washington Union Station. The train returns to Charlottesville at 7:23 p.m. Weekend schedules are slightly different.  Reservations on the Northeast Regional can be made at    

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