The arrival and departures of several passenger excursion trains to Roanoke serves as a reminder of state plans to restore Amtrak service within the next five years. One of the questions that must be answered is where to put the station. More from WFIR’s Evan Jones.
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The train Saturday from North Carolina and the two heading to Abingdon and Bluefield this coming weekend all come to the former Norfolk and Western Station, now the O. Winston Link Museum. It’s a logical starting spot when considering Amtrak options, but parking is limited, and there is no space inside right now for station facilities. Roanoke City Manager Chris Morrill says there are probably ways to work around that, but if another location is needed, the city will find one, because a return of Amtrak service that would link Roanoke with major northeastern cities is an important component for this region’s future economic development.
While there are no assurances Amtrak service will return to Roanoke, Virginia has tentative plans for its restoration by 2016.