By The Editorial Board, The Roanoke Times; January 23, 2021
Gov. Ralph Northam has proposed spending $50 million to extend passenger rail to the New River Valley — and get a second train on that route.
That’s definitely thinking big, especially considering that until 2017 we didn’t have any passenger rail service in Virginia west of Lynchburg. Now that extension to Roanoke has proved surprisingly popular (well, maybe not surprising to people around here, but to government officials in Richmond and Washington). That route now has the best ridership of any state-supported Amtrak route in Virginia with more than 223,000 passengers in 2019. Also, this happy note for the fiscal conservatives among us: Revenue on the Roanoke extension has exceeded operating costs.