NHRS Rail2State passenger rail officials say Governor McDonnell’s transportation funding plan could bring Amtrak service back to Roanoke in 2016 — if the General Assembly approves that plan this year. Until now, Roanoke city officials believed 2018 was the earliest likely starting date. It’s all part of Governor McDonnell’s campaign to change the way Virginia funds transportation. More from WFIR’s Evan Jones.

Governor McDonnell proposes raising vehicle registration fees $15 a year — from $41 to $56 — and using a part of the increase to provide $55 million a year dedicated to intercity passenger rail in Virginia.