Posts Tagged ‘daily operation of Sunset Limited’

Texas County Seeks Daily Sunset Limited

January 29, 2019

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.

Amtrak Eyeing Superliner Replacement or Rebuilding

December 10, 2018

Amtrak has given a hint that it is considering a plan for replacement or rebuilding of its Superliner fleet.

In a letter to Rail Passengers Association Jim Mathews, Amtrak Chairman Anthony Coscia said the carrier is evaluating what he termed an “appropriate strategy” for the Superliner fleet, which is primarily assigned to long-distance trains.

Coscia noted that several of Amtrak’s equipment fleets are nearing the end of their useful lives.

“We are eager to grow and expand service to currently underserved cities, corridors and communities across the country,” Coscia wrote. “We are hopeful there will be opportunities for expansion onto new routes in places like Kansas, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois.”

He also indicated that Amtrak’s PRIIA-required Route Improvement Plans are providing an opportunity to examine options for daily service for the Cardinal and Sunset Limited.

“Of course, to do so will require reasonable cooperation from our host railroads and available equipment,” Coscia wrote.

It is not yet what steps Amtrak might take to address the wearing out Superliner fleet.