The state is analyzing the feasibility of a passenger rail stop in Bedford and is seeking the public’s help with that goal.

Representatives from the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation held an open house about its Bedford/Franklin Passenger Rail Stop Study on Sept. 26 at Trinity Ecumenical Parish. DRPT Manager of Rail Planning Emily Stock said the purpose of the gathering was to solicit feedback about a potential stop in Bedford, such as what should be included in the scope of the study and the type of station that should be implemented.

On June 19, the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) approved the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation’s (DRPT) Six-Year Improvement Program, which contains $300,000 for a study and $325,000 per year for two years of connector bus service between Bedford and Lynchburg.

According to a press release about the open house, the study is set to develop a conceptual design and a cost estimate for Amtrak service in Bedford. The study also will analyze potential ridership using two years of data from the Washington-Roanoke Amtrak service.

The Bedford-Franklin Regional Rail Initiative, a local coalition of citizens and government leaders, has advocated for a passenger rail stop in Bedford. Earlier studies commissioned by the BFRRI and DRPT provided ridership estimates for a Bedford stop based on projected ridership numbers from Roanoke.

-For more information, see the Oct. 2 edition of the Smith Mountain Eagle-

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