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Federal funding will allow step toward daily service of Amtrak’s Cardinal line through WV

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Federal funding will allow step toward daily service of Amtrak’s Cardinal line through WV

Dec 08, 2023 | 9:06 am ET
By Lori Kersey
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Federal funding will allow step toward daily service of Amtrak’s Cardinal line through WV
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Amtrak’s Cardinal line travels from New York to Chicago and has eight West Virginia stops: Alderson, Charleston, Hinton, Huntington, Montgomery, Prince, Thurmond and White Sulphur Springs. (Joe Raedle | Getty Images)

A $500,000 award from the federal Department of Transportation will allow Amtrak to complete the first step toward restoring daily service of its Cardinal line, which goes through West Virginia, the Biden administration announced Friday. 

Expanding the Cardinal line is one of several projects named as part of the Corridor Identification and Development Program, which supports long-term passenger rail development in communities across the country. The money will complete the first step of the program, which is developing a scope, schedule and cost estimate for preparing, completing or documenting its service development plan, the Department of Transportation said.

All together the president announced $8.2 billion in funding for 10 major passenger rail projects across the country and another $34 million through the Corridor ID Program. The administration aims to build a “world-class passenger rail,” officials said in a news release.  

“Announced projects will add new passenger rail service to cities that have historically lacked access to America’s rail network, connecting residents to jobs, health care, and educational opportunities,” the Department of Transportation said. “Investments will repair aging rail infrastructure to increase train speeds, reduce delays, benefit freight rail supply chains to boost America’s economy, significantly reduce greenhouse emissions, and create good-paying union jobs.”

Amtrak’s Cardinal line travels from New York to Chicago and has eight West Virginia stops: Alderson, Charleston, Hinton, Huntington, Montgomery, Prince, Thurmond and White Sulphur Springs, according to its website. It has had a three-days-a-week schedule since 1982, the Gazette-Mail reported in October. During an event marking $6.4 million in improvements to Charleston’s Amtrak station, Manchin said officials were “poised to restore the daily Cardinal service.”

In a statement Thursday, Manchin said he applauded Amtrak for its continued effort to restore the line’s daily service. 

“This is a great investment in further connecting West Virginia communities, bringing more visitors to our great state and creating new economic opportunities,” Manchin said. “I am committed to seeing daily rail service in Charleston, Huntington, White Sulfur Springs, Hinton, and the many communities along the Cardinal line,” he said. “I will continue working to see that West Virginia gets the important rail service it needs and deserves.”