Virginia / North Carolina Home to Busiest Amtrak Stations in The Southeast

More people are traveling by train with a record number passing through Virginia and North Carolina. The top five stations in the Southeast in 2023 were the Staples Mill Road Station in Richmond, Va., Alexandria, Va., Charlotte, N.C., Norfolk, Va., and Raleigh, N.C.

In addition to Richmond, Alexandria, and Norfolk, Amtrak Virginia also serves Newport News, Roanoke, and twelve other Virginia communities. In 2023, the service set a ridership record of more than 1.3 million passengers, making the Commonwealth one of the most popular travel destinations on the Amtrak national network.

“The tremendous growth in ridership is a result of the substantial investments North Carolina and Virginia are making to expand and improve passenger rail,” Amtrak Vice President Ray Lang said. “Customers are taking advantage of a sustainable way to travel to the many destinations our network offers.”

Amtrak Virginia, the Virginia state-supported passenger rail service, offers 12 daily trains to the Richmond station for service to Washington, D.C., Baltimore, New York, and Boston. Customers can also access additional Amtrak service for travel to Raleigh, Charlotte, Savannah, Ga., and other cities as far south as Miami.

“Richmond is not just the capital of Virginia, it’s the epicenter of the East, connecting the Southeast and the Northeast by rail,” said DJ Stadtler, Executive Director of the Virginia Passenger Rail Authority (VPRA) which oversees the Commonwealth’s Amtrak Virginia service. “All three of these stations – Richmond-Staples Mill, Alexandria, and Norfolk – offer Virginians access to rail service connecting the Commonwealth with the rest of the east coast.”

Plans are underway to expand Amtrak Virginia service through VPRA’s Transforming Rail in Virginia initiative, resulting in two additional roundtrips in 2026 and three in 2030.

In North Carolina, the Piedmont and Carolinian services offer daily roundtrips for travel between Raleigh, Charlotte, and points in between. The Carolinian, which travels daily from New York to Charlotte, and stops at the Staples Mill Road Station in Richmond, Va., and Alexandria, Va., are sponsored by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and operated by Amtrak.

“The growth we’ve seen in ridership in 2022 and 2023 is unprecedented,” said Jason Orthner, NCDOT’s Rail Division Director. “Continuing to work in partnership with Amtrak and the Virginia Passenger Rail Authority to increase connections and decrease travel time between destinations in the South and the Northeast is a priority to increase and enhance NC By Train service in North Carolina and beyond.”

The two states received federal grants to help continue pursuing their vision to expand service in the region.

Amtrak is capitalizing on ridership growth by advancing historic infrastructure investments that will launch new and expanded services, advance safety and reliability, improve accessibility, drive economic development and enhance the customer experience.

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