TRANSIT: Building of Roanoke's Amtrak platform expected to start this fall

May 24, 2016

The $9.9 million platform will parallel the tracks for more than 800 ft near Norfolk Avenue, with 600 ft of the waiting area covered by a canopy

Crews will build downtown Roanoke’s Amtrak platform starting this fall, one year before the expected start of passenger train service, according to a state official.

Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation spokeswoman Bethany Wolfe said Amtrak plans to begin service in the fall of 2017 between Roanoke and all its Northeast corridor stops.

In addition to the new Roanoke boarding platform, crews will build a facility for servicing the train between trips. To be located at Albemarle Avenue and Williamson Road, the servicing center should cost $5.2 million, officials said.

The state intends to pay the combined $15.1 million cost of both facilities, according to Wolfe. It is part of an allocation of nearly $100 million to restore passenger train service in Roanoke, which last had it 36 years ago.

The price tag for the ground facilities in Roanoke has risen from $9.4 million, an estimate given last fall when project planners thought they were going to build a combined facility to both board passengers and service the trains.

Project planners have since agreed to build a raised platform for level boarding and to situate the servicing center on Albemarle Avenue.