NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — More Virginians are riding the rails than ever before. This week, Amtrak announced travel on in/state-supported trains hit an all-time high. Adding stops in Norfolk and Newport News had a lot to do with that.

Virginia had more than 110,000 riders in July. That’s up nearly 29% from June and nearly 20% over pre-pandemic numbers.

10 On Your Side went to the Newport News train station Thursday and found money is the biggest reason people are riding the rails.

“I don’t really make that much money so I gotta find the best thing that works for me,” Mikhail Minor told us. She rides for work and pleasure just about every week.

Hampton University student Zackary Meggett said he rides to save gas, and so that he doesn’t have to deal with traffic.

Newport News saw the highest increase in riders last month after reinstating a roundtrip that had been canceled during the pandemic.

Norfolk accounted for the second largest increase after adding another roundtrip last month. Making the argument to add even more intercity service.

“And that’s the plan… we will have more in 2026, more in 2030, we’ll get there, but we’ve got to keep the momentum moving,” said Virginia Passenger Rail Authority Executive Director, DJ Stadtler.

Stadtler also told 10 On Your Side to look out for night trips and new trains are also coming down the track.

“We’re partnering with Amtrak and some of the other states to buy brand new train sets that will be delivered in 2026….new shiny train sets that are not from the 1970s,” he said.

He believes that will have even more passengers coming aboard in the future.