Cardinal Conference Sought to Build a Coalition That Will Work Toward Resuming Daily Service

What will it take to make Amtrak’s tri-weekly Cardinal a daily train?

That question hung over a public hearing held Sept. 23 in Cincinnati attended by about 100 mostly supportive people.

Amtrak CardinalAlthough a firm answer to the key question wasn’t provided, Amtrak representatives and others did talk about the benefits of a daily train.

Amtrak estimates daily service will result in a 96 percent increase in ridership.

Among the attendees were officials from other regions of the country that have worked to preserve Amtrak service.

Conference organizers said their primary objective in holding the conference was to organize support for increasing service on the Cardinal route.

Among the attendees were representatives of chambers of commerce, the Federal Railroad Administration, colleges, the tourism industry, and elected officials.

Also represented were freight railroads CSX, Buckingham Branch, and Indiana & Ohio. The Cardinal is hosted by the first two of those railroads.

Speaking on behalf of Amtrak was Morrell Savoy, deputy general manager of Amtrak’s long-distance business Line. Other speakers shared their experiences with grassroots-based efforts to restore and enhance passenger rail services.

The Cardinal operated daily until it was discontinued on Sept. 30, 1981, during a budget shortfall.

The late Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia succeeded in getting some funding restored and the Cardinal resumed service on Jan. 8, 1982, as a tri-weekly train.

Among the cities served by the Cardinal are Chicago; Indianapolis; Cincinnati; Charleston, West Virginia; Washington; Philadelphia and New York.

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One Response to “Cardinal Conference Sought to Build a Coalition That Will Work Toward Resuming Daily Service”

  1. Philly Amtrak Fan Says:

    For the purposes of Chicago and the East Coast cities, the Cardinal is a longer, slower Lake Shore Limited/Capitol Limited so it isn’t of much value. For the purposes of Cincinnati, it stops by during the graveyard shift. For the purposes of Indianapolis, it stops by near midnight going east and before 6am going west. So all of the cities listed, the only one the Cardinal reasonably serves is Charleston. So let’s spend a bunch of federal money (our tax money) to serve one city why don’t we? Or schedule the Cardinal to serve the markets the train should serve, Cincy and Indy, at reasonable times.

    Because of Byrd Crap, the Broadway Limited/Three Rivers got canceled. So I’m no fan of it.

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