Posts Tagged ‘Texarkana’

Staffing Resumes at Texarkana Station

October 21, 2020

Amtrak has resumed staffing its station in Texarkana, Arkansas.

A service advisory said that a customer service representatives began helping passengers in making reservations and boarding the Texas Eagle.

The notice said additional staff is being recruited and Amtrak plans to soon have representatives for every arrival and departure of Trains 21 and 22.

The station waiting room is open for passengers at all train times with an Amtrak Quik-Trak kiosk available for ticketing and printing of boarding documents.

Passengers must use a credit card, reloadable credit or debit card, or Amtrak gift cards to pay for tickets as the carrier is not accepting cash for ticket purchases at this time.

Ticket Offices Closing Being Posted

May 14, 2018

Amtrak is starting to roll out the notices of ticket office closing. At none of the five ticket offices set to close will checked baggage continue to be available.

The office in Texarkana, Arkansas-Texas, will close on May 16. Offices in Fort Madison, Iowa, and Garden City, Kansas, will close on May 17. The office in Ottumwa, Iowa, will close on May 18 while the office in Topeka, Kansas, will be shuttered on May 19.

In all cities the station waiting room will continue to be open at train time, typically 30 minutes before a train’s arrival. The waiting room will remain open for two hours.

However, in Garden City, the waiting room will be open from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said that personnel on the train will assist customers boarding and detraining.

Fort Madison, Topeka and Garden City are on the route of the Southwest Chief, Ottumwa is on the route of the California Zephyr and Texarkana is served by the Texas Eagle.

Fighting to Keep Ticket Offices Open

May 12, 2018

Officials in Topeka, Kansas, and Texarkana, Arkansas-Texas, are fighting to keep open the Amtrak ticket offices located in their cities.

The national passenger carrier is closing 15 ticket offices nationwide, targeting stations that serve 40 or fewer passengers a day.

In Kansas, Topeka Councilwoman Sylvia Ortiz called for the city to fight the plan.  “We cannot let this die,” she said.

“We are the capital city and we need to make sure that this man stays,” she said in reference to the Amtrak agent who works at the station.

The Topeka ticket office is slated to close on May 18. Topeka is served by the Chicago-Los Angeles Southwest Chief.

Ortiz encouraged the public to contact U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) to seek his help.

She believes ridership of Amtrak trains will diminish after the Topeka agent is removed.

Although Ortiz called on her fellow council members to pass a resolution supporting keeping the ticket office open, the council did not take any action.

In Texarkana, the Texas Eagle Marketing and Performance Organization is trying to rally support in keeping that city’s ticket office open.

The group has also protested plans to close a ticket office in Marshall, Texas. Both stations are served by the Chicago-San Antonio Texas Eagle.

TEMPO is seeking the support of Main Street Texarkana, which is seeking to promote development of the area around the station.

“This year, Amtrak received a record amount of federal funding, the largest ever received by America’s passenger railroad. Amtrak received this historic level of funding because of the bipartisan support of Congress for a nationwide passenger train system. Given that support, it is not appropriate for Amtrak to implement cuts affecting only national network stations without first making an effort to improve ridership at those stations,” TEMPO said in a statement.

TEMPO said it wants Amtrak to delay closing the ticket offices until adequate efforts have been made to increase ridership, in partnership with affected cities.

Amtrak Sets Round of Ticket Office Closings

April 30, 2018

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.