Promoting passenger trains as a transportation alternative in Florida since 1983.  We are citizens who advocate for Amtrak, commuter rail, intercity rail and transit for Florida's future.

Amtrak Long Distance Cuts Continue; Contact Congress--Again!

10 Oct 2020 9:46 AM | Jackson McQuigg (Administrator)

By now, all of us have heard of the draconian cuts Amtrak continues to carry out to its long distance services.

All of them, with the exception of the Silver Meteor (which now runs just 4x per week, down from daily) and the Auto Train, (which has escaped cuts except to its food service so far), will run tri-weekly going forward. All of them.

Amtrak has yet to announce a firm daily service restoration date for any of these trains.

Meanwhile, Amtrak continues to run nearly empty trains in the Northeast Corridor, which Amtrak management sees as its crown jewel. And the Northeast Corridor, which no one in Amtrak's management can argue is profitable now, needs tens of billions in capital funds to replace bridges, tunnels and other items of infrastructure.

Amtrak is asking for more funds, as noted in this article from Progressive Railroading: 

https://www.progressiverailroading.com/amtrak/news/Amtrak-Additional-funds-needed-to-avoid-more-service-job-cuts--61792

And Amtrak does need more funding to get through the COVID-19 crisis.

While we encourage FCRP members and friends to reach out to Congress, it is important to mention the importance of maintaining daily long distance service from both of the Florida trains in your contacts.

Amtrak has gutted its Florida services, as well as all of the long distance trains nationwide, even though ridership on these trains is recovering far better than the Northeast Corridor.

By cutting long distance services, the trains will lose more money than ever--which is already evidenced by the major losses Amtrak is posting on the Silver Star and Silver Meteor, which were cut July 6.

Make no mistake--the end game of all of this will be to restore only some of the long distance trains. The Silver Star may be particularly vulnerable because it will wrongly be seen by some as a duplication of services (even though it serves different Florida markets than the Silver Meteor). 

Here's where to speak up:

To Contact Senator Rick Scott: https://www.rickscott.senate.gov/contact_rick

To Contact Senator Marco Rubio: https://www.rubio.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact

To locate and contact your Member of Congress: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/FL

Please be specific in your contacts with Congress about your desires to see full Amtrak service restored in Florida. The 50% cut in services to the Silver trains which we saw on July 6 is unacceptable.

In addition to funds, Amtrak needs a new Board of Directors and executives who want to do more than operate the Northeast Corridor and state supported trains. 

It is also worthwhile to remind our Governor and FDOT that Amtrak service in Florida is important to you.

To contact Governor Ron DeSantis: https://www.flgov.com/contact-governor/

To contact FDOT Secretary Kevin J. Thibault, call 850-414-4100

Keep fighting! Please ignore the opinions expressed on social media and internet sites which regard all of our efforts at contacting politicians as futile. This is a long game which we must play to the end. Your voices are being heard!

If you have written or called already, please do so again. One or two emails aren't effective--be loud and frequent in your contacts.

Finally, as we go to the polls--please consider how your elected officials have voted for Amtrak and passenger rail. If their record is hostile, you know what to do.

Thanks and stay safe! 

--Jackson McQuigg

  Join |  Archives  |  Contact us

Florida Coalition of Rail Passengers, P.O. Box 30154, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33420  www.fcrprail.org


(c) 1983-2020 Florida Coalition of Rail Passengers   
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software