Bristol, Virginia releases findings from passenger rail study
BRISTOL, Va. —
Wednesday night, leaders from Bristol, Virginia presented the findings from the 10 month passenger rail study.
The study cost $156,000 and researched the economic impacts of extending a passenger rail from Roanoke to Bristol.
City leaders were excited to present positive findings from the study.
The presentation stated the passenger rail extension could create nearly 600 temporary jobs, and about 60 permanent ones.
The study showed 96,000 riders could potentially take advantage of the rail service.
The estimated annual revenue the rail line could create is anywhere from $3 million to $5 million.
Even though these results are in favor of extending a passenger rail to Bristol, the final decision is up to Norfolk Southern or Amtrak.
"This is a major step. This study had to be done. We're showing the demand-- we've got the numbers now: It would be good for the community, it would be good for the economy, and we have that on paper now," said Bristol, Virginia CDBG Coordinator Ellen Tolton.
The company Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) is now working with the city to try and bring passenger rail here.
Rich Sampson, the communications director of CTAA spoke during the presentation, and said Norfolk Southern is not interested in the extension at the moment because the company is focusing on other projects. He also said Amtrak is neutral to the idea.