Document Gives Insight into Amtrak Summer Plans

An Amtrak planning document shows that the carrier plans to continue to operate most services this summer with reduced consists and many routes will continue to have reduced frequencies.

The document is dated May 7 and subject to change.

Chicago-Milwaukee Hiawatha Service will resume service on June 1 with one roundtrip, Nos. 330 and 339 on weekdays and Nos. 332 and 339 on weekends.

Starting June 14 service will increase to four roundtrips, Nos. 329, 331, 337, 339, 330, 332, 338 and 342.

Before the pandemic service had been seven daily roundtrips.

Lincoln Service between Chicago and St. Louis is slated to be two daily roundtrips, Nos. 300, 303, 306 and 307 with all operating with four coaches.

The corridor previously hosted four Lincoln Service roundtrips.

Chicago-Quincy and Chicago-Carbondale services will remain the same as they are now.

The Illinois Zephyr will operate with two coaches while the southbound Illini and northbound Saluki will have a Superliner consist.

The Chicago-Quincy Carl Sandburg remain suspended as does the southbound Saluki and northbound Illini.

Missouri River Runner service between St. Louis and Kansas City will also remain unchanged at one roundtrip (Nos. 313 and 314). The route previously hosted two roundtrips.

Chicago-Detroit (Pontiac) Wolverine Service corridor will continue to operate with one daily roundtrip whereas until the COVID-19 pandemic struck it had three daily roundtrips.

There will be no change in operations of the Chicago-Port Huron, Michigan, Blue Water.

The planning document shows the Chicago-Grand Rapids, Michigan, Pere Marquette not operating, but that appears to be an error.

However, the Amtrak website shows Nos. 370 and 371 as operating starting June 1 and reservations can be made.

Amtrak also plans to restore the New York-Pittsburgh Pennsylvanian and gradually ramp up service in the Keystone Corridor in eastern Pennsylvania.

Starting June 1 Amtrak will restore Keystone Service to nine roundtrips operating between Philadelphia and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

On July 5 one roundtrip will be extended to New York. On Sept. 5 service between Harrisburg and New York will be restored to all trains.

The level of service planned this summer will be two roundtrips fewer than what Amtrak operated last summer.

Keystone Service trains will operate with their normal consists while the Pennsylvanian will have its normal consist of four coaches, one business class car, a food service car and a baggage car.

Downeaster Service is expected to return on July 1 operating only with one roundtrip on weekedays. Normal service of five daily roundtrips is expected to return on Sept. 5.

Empire Service will be six roundtrips for the summer compared to nine last year. That is an increase of one roundtrip per day compared with the spring.

Service will bump up to seven roundtrips on Sept. 5. However, the Maple Leaf will continue to operate only as far west as Niagara Falls, New York, rather than resume service to Toronoto.

The Vermonter will resume operating to St. Albans, Vermont, on June 1 while the Adirondack is shown as continuing to be suspended between New York and Montreal.

The New York-Charlotte Carolinian will resume regular operations June 1 while Piedmont Service will be one roundtrip between Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina. Piedmont Service had been three roundtrips.

As previously announced, Acela Express will return June 1 with four roundtrips, which is still way down from the normal 15 roundtrips.

Northeast Regional service will ramp up to 10 roundtrips compared to the current eight. Last summer there were 18 roundtrips.

Springfield shuttle service will be three roundtrips between New Haven, Connecticut, and Springfield, Massachusetts, with one roundtrip between Springfield and Greenfield, Massachusetts.

Previously service on this route was seven roundtrips between New Haven and Springfield. Normal service is projected to return on Sept. 5.

In the West, Cascades Service between Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia, will continue to be suspended.

Cascades Service between Seattle and Portland will be two roundtrips compared to the normal four. There will be one roundtrip between Portland and Eugene, Oregon, compared to two previously.

The Capitol Corridor will have eight roundtrips on weekdays and five roundtrips on weekends. Previous service was 14 weekday and 11 weekend roundtrips.

San Joaquin service will be four roundtrips with normal service of seven roundtrips returning in early September.

Pacific Surfliner service is projected to be six roundtrips through July 5. The next day service will rise to nine roundtrips. The previous service level had been 14 roundtrips.

No long-distance services have been suspended during the pandemic, but consists have been reduced in size. That is expected to change this summer.

The Chicago-Washington Capitol Limited is slated to operate this summer with three coaches, two sleepers and a diner-lounge. There will be no separate lounge car or baggage car.

Nos. 29 and 30 currently are carrying two coaches, one sleeper and a diner-lounge.

The Lake Shore Limited summer consist will be three sleepers, four coaches, one dining car for sleeper class passengers, one club dinette and a baggage car.

Nos. 48 and 49 will be the only eastern long-distance train carrying a Viewliner II dining car for sleeper class passengers only.

The Chicago-New York Cardinal will see no change this summer from its current consist of two coaches, one sleeper and a diner-lounge.

The New York-Miami Silver Star and Silver Meteor will both operate with two sleepers, a lounge car and a baggage car. The Silver Star will have three coaches while the Silver Meteor will have two.

The planning document said the Silver Meteor will have three fewer coaches and one less sleeper than it did last summer and will not have a dining car.

The New York-Savannah, Georgia, Palmetto is set to have four coaches and a food service car with tables. That is two fewer coaches than it had last summer but one coach more than it has now. There will be no baggage car as there was last year.

The New York-New Orleans Crescent will have three coaches, two sleepers and a lounge car. That is one less coach and sleeper from its previous consist.

The City of New Orleans between Chicago and New Orleans will have it normal consist

The California Zephyr between Chicago and Emeryville, California, will have three coaches, one sleeper, a Sightseer lounge and dining car.

That is a net gain of one coach from the current consist but one less sleeper than it carried last year. There will be no baggage car.

The Chicago-Los Angeles Southwest Chief will carry three coaches, two sleepers, a dining car and Sightseer lounge. That is a net gain of one sleeper and coach from the current consist but a loss of one sleeper and coach from summer 2019. There will be no baggage car.

The New Orleans-Los Angeles Sunset Limited will have two coaches, one sleeper, a dining car and a Sightseer lounge. That is one sleeper less than summer 2019. There will be no baggage car.

The Chicago-San Antonio Texas Eagle will have three coaches, two sleepers, a dining car and a Sightseer lounge. That is a net gain of one coach and one sleeper from the current consist.

However, the Chicago-St. Louis coach had operated previously continues to be suspended.

The Chicago-Seattle/Portland Empire Builder will have four coaches, three sleepers, a dining car and a Sightseer lounge.

That is a net gain of one coach from the current consist but a loss of two sleepers from last summer.

The Los Angeles-Seattle Coast Starlight will have two coaches, two sleepers, a dining car and Sightseer lounge.

That is two fewer sleepers than last summer. There will be no baggage car and the business class coach will not operate this year as it did in 2019.

It does represent an increase of one sleeper over the current consist.

The Auto Train will have four coaches, five sleepers, a dining car, a Sightseer lounge and a diner-lounge.

That is two fewer sleepers than the previous consist but a gain of one coach over the current consist.

The Heartland Flyer (Oklahoma City-Fort Worth, Texas) will have two coaches this summer  but otherwise operate as normal.

The New York-Rutland, Vermont, Ethan Allen will be operate as normal.

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