Fredericksburg Should Better Promote its Amtrak, VRE Connection

by | Jan 21, 2016 | Uncategorized

A letter to the editor by Dan Peacock, member, Virginia Association of Railway Patrons (VARP). Amtrak file photo copyright Fredericksburg.Today.

Fredericksburg would reap important economic rewards by promoting more aggressively the unique features of its Amtrak and VRE connections that make the passenger rail option a superior one for many out-of-town visitors.

Downtown to Downtown
Amtrak provides convenient, direct service from the major East Coast cities of Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, DC, Raleigh, and Charlotte to Downtown Fredericksburg. Recently, after a 20 year absence, the “Silver Meteor” provides long distance service straight from Charleston, Savannah, Jacksonville, and Miami.

Easy Access from Anywhere via Three DC Area Airports
Travelers from anywhere, worldwide, can access Fredericksburg via public transportation from the DC Area’s three airports, using a combination of Amtrak, VRE, MARC, and/or Metro bus/rail.

Cheaper Access to DC Tourist Attractions
Amtrak and VRE trains allow DC tourists to stay in Fredericksburg, where hotels are far less expensive.

Frequent, Popular Rail Service
VRE has eight round trips to DC. Amtrak has 14 stops per day in Fredericksburg. Last year, the Fredericksburg station posted a 4.8 percent gain in ridership and was Virginia’s fifth busiest of Amtrak’s 20 stations.

Easy Day Trips to City
Because of frequent rail service, persons from as north as Philadelphia and as far south as Norfolk and Newport News can conveniently make day trips to the city without incurring lodging costs.

Superior Travel Experience
For many travelers, rail is far superior to a car. They can do things impossible if driving: sleeping, texting, computing, and reading. The stress is far less. The cost can also be cheaper, with fewer negative effects for the environment.

Promoting passenger rail more is a sure way to increase the city’s tourist dollars.

Dan Peacock, Member
Virginia Association of Railway Patrons (VARP)
The Virginia Association of Railway Patrons is a nonprofit, tax-exempt membership organization working to promote expanded rail service in Virginia and West Virginia.

Letters to the editor may be submitted via email to [email protected].

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