NORFOLK (AP) -- Amtrak is bringing passenger rail service to Norfolk in December.

Gov. Bob McDonnell said Thursday that passengers will be able to travel by train to Washington, D.C., Baltimore, New York City and as far north as Boston.

The Norfolk platform is at Harbor Park in downtown.

'It will be something that I will take advantage of beacuse it will be in the area,' said Melanie Yates.

The same-seat service begins Dec. 12 and includes a stop at the Petersburg Station in Ettrick. Tickets can be purchased now.

Norfolk will have a ceremony December 11 so you can tour the trains.

McDonnell says the round-trip train will bring intercity passenger rail service to Norfolk for the first time since 1977.

Norfolk Mayor Paul D. Fraim says the service gives the public, business and military travelers in the region another transportation option.

Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton said, 'Thanks to the hard work of our partners, CSX, Norfolk Southern and the City of Norfolk, for completing the necessary upgrades for this service and making it possible to launch 10 months earlier than originally projected. This new service is will greatly benefit Southside Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia. The economies of these two regions are intertwined and starting this service will strengthen them both.'

Northbound Norfolk Service
Monday Friday:
Train 174: Leaves Norfolk 4:50 a.m., arrives DC 9:44 a.m.
Saturday Sunday:
Train 88: Leaves Norfolk 6:05 a.m., arrives DC 10:55 a.m.

Southbound Norfolk Service:
Monday Friday:
Train 125: Leaves DC at 3:55 p.m., arrives Norfolk 8:50 p.m.
Train 71: Leaves DC at 7:00 p.m., arrives Norfolk 11:48 p.m.
Train 157: Leaves DC at 4:00 p.m., arrives Norfolk 8:48 p.m.

One-way ticket prices from Norfolk:
To Washington, DC: $38
To Philadelphia:$51
To New York:$63
To Boston:$73

Amtrak says those fares are current as of August 30, 2012 and require reservation at least 14 days prior to departure and may not be available at all times.

AP-WF-08-30-12 1320GMT

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