Production of next-generation Acela Express fleet underway
Stadler unveils TEX Rail Flirt DMU
Siemens invests in remote monitoring specialist Wi-Tronix
DB consortium selected for California high speed rail
Judge puts the skids on state’s proposed rail trail
Amtrak's CEO shares his vision for rail's future
Flight Rail: a new type of train?
America’s short lines play the long game
New York rail operator bolsters security after London bombing
A leaked email to employees has confirmed Amtrak's plans to reduce the frequency for all of its long distance trains to thrice weekly and provides details of the trains impacted and their new schedules. Thrice weekly operation will be phased in over a three-week period beginning 5-October-2020. All but two of Amtrak's trains, which cover a network including over 500 destinations in 46 states, currently operate daily.
Under the plan the California Zephyr (San Francisco to Chicago), the Coast Starlight (Los Angeles to Seattle), the Empire Builder (Seattle/Portland to Chicago), the Texas Eagle (San Antonio to Chicago), the Southwest Chief (Los Angeles to Chicago), the City of New Orleans (New Orleans to Chicago), the Lake Shore Limited (New York City to Chicago), the Crescent (New York City to New Orleans), the Texas Eagle (Chicago to San Antonio with through carriages to Los Angeles) and the Capitol Limited (Washington DC to Chicago) will all be cut from daily to thrice weekly. The Auto Train will continue to operate daily, while the Cardinal and Sunset Limited will continue their current (thrice weekly) schedule. Silver Service trains between the Northeast and Florida saw frequency reductions in July which will remain.
Amtrak claims the reduction in frequency is the result of falling demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic however could have been avoided if the funding it requested from Congress had been approved. The company released a set of criteria including rebounding demand and stable hospitalisation rates that it will use to assess if trains return to daily operation in 2021.
New schedules, including service cuts, will be implemented over three weeks and are expected to be reflected in Amtrak's booking system as soon as possible. The changes leaked today are:
From October 5:
From October 12:
From October 19:
TrainReview has undertaken a detailed analysis of the proposed timetable. Whilst some useful connections are maintained, the proposal leaves some key gaps in the network.
East/West connections that are maintained include:
West coast connections which are maintained include:
The Texas Eagle becomes somewhat of an orphaned train in Chicago, connecting to other trains only from its Monday and Saturday arrivals, however through carriages conveyed on the Texas Eagle between Chicago and San Antonio and on the Sunset Limited between San Antonio and Los Angeles will continue to operate thrice weekly.
East coast connections which are maintained include:
Unfortunately, all trains between the Chicago and the East Coast will depart Chicago on Monday, Thursday and Saturday. The Cardinal (Amtrak's existing thrice weekly Chicago to Washington DC and New York train) will remain on its current schedule departing Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday - the Thursday and Saturday departures coinciding with the reduced Lake Shore Limited and Capitol Limited services leaving no service on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Returning from the East Coast to Chicago all three trains, the Cardinal, the Capitol Limited and the Lake Shore Limited will depart on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday leaving no service on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday.
Amtrak Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing and Revenue Service Officer Roger Harris previously told employees today that Amtrak's goal is “to restore daily service on these routes as demand warrants, potentially by the summer of 2021" however there is some concern that services will never be restored with slots lost on freight railroads and given the length of the suspension (longer than any other proposed service suspension in the travel industry). Whilst long distance trains have traditionally operated daily in the United States and Europe, in Australia, Canada, Russia and other parts of the world less than daily schedules are common.
This article first appeared on trainreview.com
About this website
Railpage version 3.10.0.0037
All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all the rest is © 2003-2021 Interactive Omnimedia Pty Ltd.
You can syndicate our news using one of the RSS feeds.