CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A new study shows that more people are riding the rails, which could support a new link between regions like Charlottesville and Richmond.

The study says Virginia is a leader in the national revival of intercity passenger rail, but the key to progress will be the relationship with Amtrak.

Amtrak already operates three business lines of services, and has a station in Charlottesville.

“There's a lot of interest in connecting to Richmond via rail - so many people work in Richmond on a daily basis,” says Meredith Richards, the president of the Virginia Rail Policy Institute. “And I all the time get inquiries about it - when are we going to have a train to Richmond - and the answer is that is in the long-range plan.”

Richards believes if people really advocate for a rail connection to Richmond, it could happen in a few years as long as rails received updates first.