Passenger Rail Kansas is a grass roots advocacy organization, dedicated to the preservation and expansion of service in Kansas and the surrounding region.
Without Congressional Action - Southwest Chief Goes Less-Than-Daily
May 25, 2020
A new threat to the Southwest Chief has emerged due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. New Amtrak CEO William Flynn stated in a supplemental appropration request to Congress:
"Amtrak is preparing to take significant steps to help offset the impacts of these revenue losses by reducing operating costs by approximately $500 million in FY 2021; roughly $150 million will be due to reduced frequencies and capacity (i.e., fuel, power, materials, commissary provisions, and other non-labor reductions) and $350 million will be from adjustments to our workforce. To do so, we plan to use all available tools including reducing train frequencies across our system, restructuring our workforce, and controlling discretionary expenses. Without such actions, our request to Congress will correspondingly increase and given the dramatic funding needs across all Federal programs as a result of the pandemic, we understand that we must take whatever responsible steps we can to lessen this need."
"Included in these FY 2021 actions is shifting nearly all Long Distance routes to less-than-daily service and significantly reducing NEC frequencies to match capacity more closely to demand, assuming the additional requested supplemental funds are provided. As demand returns to pre-COVID levels, we would expect to restore frequencies for both our Long Distance and NEC service, subject to adequate funding."
Kanasns should immediately contact U.S. Senator Jerry Moran's office and U.S. Senator Pat Roberts' office. Ask them to keep the Southwest Chief a daily train service as it is today!
Contact information for Kansasís Washington D.C. delegation is included on the GovTrack website: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/KS
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