Texas County Seeks Daily Sunset Limited

The Jefferson County Commissioners Court in Texas is trying to push for the tri-weekly Sunset Limited to operate daily.

The court voted unanimously to go on record as favoring daily operation of Nos. 1 and 2 in Southeast Texas.

Public officials in San Antonio, Houston and Tucson — all of which are served by the Sunset — have also expressed support for daily service.

The tri-weekly operation of the Sunset Limited has existed since the first day of Amtrak, a relic of less-than-daily service under Southern Pacific.

“I think if they want to make an appeal for more transportation-related opportunities for citizens along the Amtrak route, I’m certainly not going to stand in the way of that progress,” Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick said.

Those trying to get daily service by Nos. 1 and 2 have pointed to a growing population base in the states served by the train, including a 22 percent increase between 2000 and 2016.

However, a rail plan issued by the Texas Department of Transportation said that host railroad Union Pacific has told Amtrak it wants $750 million in track rehabilitation and other capital improvements before it will allow Nos. 1 and 2 to operate daily.

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