Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Amtrak Sidetracks a Run to Chicago Passenger Train Service Announces Additional Cuts across Nation

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Amtrak Sidetracks a Run to Chicago Passenger Train Service Announces Additional Cuts across Nation

Article excerpt

Amtrak announced on Thursday the elimination of a round-trip train between Chicago and St. Louis, and cut service elsewhere in Missouri and Illinois.

In other changes, the City of New Orleans will be cut to five days a week from seven, the Broadway Limited to Chicago will end at Pittsburgh, and Houston residents who want to ride the Texas Eagle north must start with a bus trip to Dallas.

The nationwide cuts are the second, and last, step of cuts by Amtrak. The changes, which represent a 24 percent cut in service, will save Amtrak $198 million a year.

Mel Sundermeyer, director of the transportation division of the Missouri Highway and Transportation Department, described the news as "a continuation of the Amtrak saga."

"Something has to happen at the federal level regarding rail travel," he said. "In other countries, it doesn't pay for itself, but it is subsidized."

The cuts take effect June 11. States affected include Missouri, Illinois, Louisiana, Indiana, Texas, Utah and California.

The State House is the Chicago-to-St. Louis train slated for elimination. The Loop train, between Springfield and Chicago, also will be discontinued. Cutting both trains will save Amtrak $2.9 million a year.

The State House leaves St. Louis at 4:30 a.m. and arrives in Chicago at 10 a.m. The return trip leaves Chicago at 3:30 p.m. and arrives in St. Louis at 9:35 p.m.

The Ann Rutledge train will continue to stop seven days a week in St. Louis, Chicago and Springfield. The train arrives in St. Louis from Kansas City at 1:45 p.m. It leaves St. Louis at 2:15 p.m. and arrives in Chicago at 8:30 p.m. The next morning, it leaves Chicago at 10:30 a.m. and arrives in St. Louis at 4 p.m. The train reaches Kansas City at 10 p.m.

Also continuing is the Texas Eagle, which runs daily between St. Louis and Chicago. The train leaves Chicago at 5:45 p.m. and arrives in St. Louis at 11:30 p.m. A day later, it leaves St. Louis at 7:35 a.m. and arrives in Chicago at 1:35 p.m. Three times a week, the train goes on to Texas. …

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