The movers and shakers in worlds of New Jersey business and politics will once again share a train to the nation’s capital in the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce’s annual Walk to Washington.

The January event gives participants an opportunity to network on a chartered Amtrak train to Washington, D.C., and spend an evening discussing issues with the state’s top political and business leaders.

This year’s event, held on Thursday, January 31, at the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, features Governor Chris Christie as keynote speaker. The cost of the event is $590 for chamber members and $690 for non-members and includes train tickets, reception, and dinner. Go to www.njchamber.com to register.

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the Chamber has renamed the event, “The Walk to Washington and Drive to ReNew Jersey.”

“The chamber plans to salute the spirit of recovery and renewal across New Jersey in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, and honor those who helped our citizens weather the storm,” says a chamber release on the walk.

“In the wake of Hurricane Sandy and with a gubernatorial election approaching, our trip to Washington will be extremely important,” said Thomas Bracken, president and CEO of the New Jersey Chamber. “In addition to the traditional business networking that occurs naturally on our trip, our elected officials and business leaders can use the Walk to Washington to discuss plans for the recovery and the rebuilding of the parts of our state devastated by the storm.”

Among those planning to attend is former Governor Brndan Byrne, who has been to the event 49 out of 75 times. Byrne, whose first walk was in 1956, says his fondest memory came during one of his first trips when he was a self-described “nobody” and he was seated next to U.S. Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan Jr. “That was a great privilege.”

And it was during the train trip of 1959 when then-Governor Robert Meyner “told me he was going to make me the prosecutor of Essex County,” Byrne says. “If you want to meet people and you want to know what’s going on in New Jersey, you go on the Chamber’s Walk to Washington. There’s a built in camaraderie.”

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