Bristol, transportation group to conduct passenger rail study

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BRISTOL, Va. — City leaders in Bristol want to conduct a study on the benefits of extending passenger rail service from Roanoke to Bristol in southwest Virginia. The city has partnered with the Community Transportation Association of America to secure a firm to conduct a $450,000 study, the Bristol Herald Courier reports.

While passenger rail service hasn’t even started in Roanoke, the city of Bristol wants to look at the benefits of continuing the regional service into southwest Virginia. Bristol-area advocates say that Amtrak service would offer multiple benefits to the area and would help make Bristol more of a destination for tourists and business.

While local and regional groups are onboard for the study, the state of Virginia wants to see a considerable amount of data from the Roanoke service before diving into a Bristol study.

Amtrak service between Lynchburg and Roanoke will start later this year.

The study would take about six-to-nine months to complete and would focus on how rail service would reduce vehicular traffic from Interstate 81 and provide benefits to local economic development efforts, tourism, access to education, and other criteria.

Funds for the city’s study include a $250,000 grant from the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission, a $100,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission, and other local funds.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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