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Norfolk Southern to increase maximum speeds for Amtrak trains between Norfolk and Petersburg

In preparation for the start of Amtrak passenger rail service between Norfolk and Richmond in December, Amtrak will begin operating trains to qualify train crews at 79 mph beginning in mid-October. These trains will not be carrying passengers. The speed increase will be effective on Norfolk Southern’s tracks between Portlock Yard in Chesapeake and downtown Suffolk, and between downtown Suffolk and Petersburg. Train speeds through downtown Suffolk will increase from 40 mph to 60 mph in the summer of 2013.

Freight trains will continue to operate at the current maximum speed of 60 mph.

Track and warning signal improvements have been made to allow for the increases in train speeds. Motorists are reminded to obey railroad crossing signals and warnings and to use caution when approaching all highway-rail grade crossings.

Virginia Operation Lifesaver presenters are available to make presentations to community groups, school children, bus and truck drivers and others who live or travel near train tracks to offer safety tips. Operation Lifesaver is a nationwide public education program to promote public awareness of the highway-rail crossing environment and to encourage compliance with the traffic laws relating to crossing signs and signals and trespassing.

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