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The Roanoke Regional Airport is the major air transportation facility for all of southwestern Virginia. Despite operating at maximum capacity during peak hours, some visitors have found the expensive fares and limited number of flights restrictive, and have opted to use the Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, North Carolina. This is certainly an alternative for travelers from far away, as the Roanoke airport offers direct flights to relatively few cities (mainly Orlando, Detroit, Charlotte and Chicago). The Greensboro airport has a much greater selection of flights due to larger size, including multiple flights a day to Philadelphia, Washington D.C, New York, Chicago, Boston, Houston and Atlanta). However, the latter airport is over a 2½ hour drive through rugged terrain from Roanoke.
Though Roanoke’s economy was built up by the railroad, the city has no passenger rail service since the early 1970’s. Passenger rail is currently scheduled to return to Roanoke in 2016. Amtrak offers direct ticketing to Roanoke through its Throughway Bus connector to/from Lynchburg and points beyond via the Amtrak Northeast Regional route. See the www.amtrak.com site for current schedule and details.
Other connections can be made by bus. Roanoke has a downtown bus terminal with multiple covered bus bays (Greyhound, Valley Metro, Smartway Connector/Amtrak Throughway) an indoor waiting room and a ticketing office at the Campbell Court Transportation Center located a half block from the intersection of Jefferson and Campbell. Greyhound has direct services to Richmond, Charlottesville, Lynchburg and Knoxville once or twice a day. Smartway Connector offers connections to Bedford, Christiansburg, Blacksburg/Virginia Tech and Lynchburg several times a day.