Roanoke Passenger Rail Service Coming Back

Roanoke, VA - After nearly 35 years, passenger rail service is set to resume in Roanoke.

Governor McDonnell was in the Star City Friday signing the Memorandum of Cooperation between all the involved parties.

The passenger platform will be right where the governor made his appearance, which is known as the Railside Amphitheater, between Jefferson and First Street.

The early stages of the initial phase is underway, which will include construction of a covered platform about 1-thousand feet long.

Phase one also includes the $6 million replacement of a culvert that runs right under where the new track would go.

That culvert, which is more than a 100- ears old, encases the original Big Lick Run that the city was built on.

This project was sealed when the Governor was able to push his historic transportation bill through this year's General Assembly.

"It was extraordinary work between the legislative and executive branch in order to do what I think people hire you to do and that is solve problems. Don't be partisan, turn down the rhetoric, find what is ailing the quality of life of Virginians and just solve problems," said McDonnell.

Work on that culvert gets underway within the next month or two taking two years to complete. Actual train service should be underway as early as 2016.