Amtrak Sets Round of Ticket Office Closings

Amtrak is closing at least five more ticket offices across the nation. The latest stations slated to lose their ticket agent are Cincinnati; Charleston, West Virginia; Texarkana, Arkansas-Texas; Marshall, Texas; and Lamy, New Mexico.

Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said the stations in all cities will remain open.

Magliari said the closing is being done to save money and because the volume of business done at ticket counters continues to decline.

“Nine out of 10 tickets across the country are purchased online,” he said.

In most cases the stations will open for a period of time before train time and be maintained by a caretaker.

“However, stations under this status have the option of partnering with Amtrak to host a station. Hope, Arkansas, does this,” Magliari said.

Magliari said the Lamy ticket agent is expected to transfer to an open position in Albuquerque after the Lamy office closes on June 1.

The Texarkana window in Union Station will close on May 15 and the Marshall office on June 29. It is not known if the agents in Texarkana and Marshall will lose their jobs.

“Other positions could be found for them,” Magliari said.

Main Street Texarkana recently provide funding and volunteer labor to beautify Union Station with new landscaping. More work is also planned.

Arkansas-side Mayor Ruth Penny-Bell said she understands Amtrak’s need to cut expenses, but regretted the changing business model.

“I was glad to hear we will still have our station, but I was not happy with the ticket counter closing,” she said. “But from those of us of an older generation, it hurts not being able to go to the station and buy your ticket there.

“Sometimes it feels like the world is moving too fast, and many of us are being left behind.”

Charleston Mayor Danny Jones expressed similar regrets when he said that city’s Amtrak ticket office will close on June 6.

Jones said after that date, anyone who wants a ticket in Charleston will have to buy it online. He

Jones said not having a ticket window will be a terrible inconvenience for anyone who rides trains, adding that a lot of people are not Internet savvy and information about trains is not always up to date.

The Cincinnati ticket office is also set to close on June 6.

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