Amtrak: Heartland Flyer extension upsets Tulsa; Midnight Specials for Hiawathas; New York ridership dips; and, new Seattle locomotive shop

June 15, 2017

Tulsa World Editorial: Tulsa left at the station — again; Oklahoma City should pay for this

By World’s Editorial Writers, Tulsa World; June 14, 2017

Finally, the folks in Oklahoma City are talking about completing Phase 2 of the passenger rail connection in the state. Officials are considering a new connection from Oklahoma City to … Wichita, Kansas.

Wait! What? Wichita?

Evidently, northeastern Oklahoma has been forgotten — again.

Click here to read the full story.

A press release from Amtrak; June 8, 2017:

Amtrak Hiawatha Makes Saturday Night Schedule Improvements

More time for summer fun in Milwaukee and Chicago; “Midnight Specials” for Milwaukee Summerfest and Cubs at Brewers

CHICAGO and MILWAUKEE, Wisc. – Amtrak is making several changes to the Saturday night departure times for Hiawatha trains traveling between Chicago and Milwaukee to give customers more time to enjoy dinner, concerts and sporting events.

Amtrak Train 343 now departs Chicago at 11:25 p.m. on Saturday nights and makes intermediate stops at Glenview and Sturtevant before arriving at the Milwaukee Airport Rail Station at 12:39 a.m., and downtown Milwaukee at 12:54 a.m., about 15 minutes later than the former schedule. The updated timetable is available for downloading on Amtrak.com.

On Saturdays during Milwaukee’s Summerfest (July 1 and July 8), Train 344 will depart Milwaukee at 11:55 p.m. A specially marked shuttle bus will also be provided to take passengers from Summerfest grounds to the downtown Milwaukee Intermodal Station. The bus will be located by the South Bar Bus pick-up location on the north side of Polk Street, about one block west of the Summerfest South Gate entrance and near the American Family Insurance Amphitheatre. It will depart at approximately 11:25 p.m. (NOTE: This will be the only shuttle departure to take passengers to the 11:55 p.m. Amtrak departure from downtown Milwaukee.)

On Saturday, July 29, Train 344 will again depart Milwaukee at 11:55 p.m. to better serve baseball fans traveling when Milwaukee Brewers host the Chicago Cubs that night.

These “midnight specials” will depart the Milwaukee Airport Rail station at 12:05 a.m.; Sturtevant at 12:18 a.m.; Glenview at 12:56 a.m. and will arrive in Chicago at 1:24 a.m.

Amtrak Hiawatha trains, running between Milwaukee and Chicago, are jointly sponsored by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and the Illinois Department of Transportation. More than 815,000 passengers rode last year, ranking among the top six Amtrak routes nationally. Since ticket windows are closed in the late evening, advance e-ticket purchases through Amtrak.com, the Amtrak Mobile app, or at station Quik-Trak® kiosks (except Glenview) are encouraged, but passengers can be ticketed on board without penalty.

Adult weekend fares on Hiawatha trains are $25 each way, but there are many available discounts, including half-price companion fares on Saturdays through Sept. 30 and free travel for up to two kids per adult through Aug. 26 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, both when booked through Amtrak.com.

About Amtrak®

Amtrak – America’s Railroad® – is dedicated to safe and reliable mobility as the nation’s intercity passenger rail service provider and its high-speed rail operator. With our state and commuter partners, we move people, the economy and the nation forward, carrying more than 30 million Amtrak passengers for each of the past five years. Formally known as the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, Amtrak is governed by a 10-member board of directors, nine of whom are appointed by the President of the United States plus the Amtrak CEO. Anthony R. Coscia is board chairman and Jeffrey R. Moreland is vice chairman.  Amtrak operates more than 300 trains daily – at speeds up to 150 mph (241 kph) – connecting more than 500 destinations in 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian Provinces. Learn more at Amtrak.com or call 800-USA-RAIL for schedules, fares and other information. Check us out at blog.Amtrak.com, Like us on Facebook.com and Follow us on Twitter @Amtrak.

New York: Amtrak statewide ridership dips

By Eric Anderson, Albany Times-Union; June 14, 2017

Rensselaer – On the eve of massive track repair work at Penn Station in New York City, Amtrak‘s upstate ridership is struggling to grow.

For passenger rail advocates such as Bruce Becker, vice president of operations for the National Association of Railroad Passengers, that’s troubling.

Click here to read the full story.

A press release from Amtrak; June 14, 2017

Amtrak to Build $28 Million Locomotive Service Facility in Seattle

SEATTLE – Amtrak has announced it will build a $28 million locomotive service facility in Seattle. This is Amtrak’s third major investment in the Seattle facility that provides services for two long-distance trains, the Empire Builder and Coast Starlight; Amtrak Cascades state supported corridor service; and maintenance for Sound Transit Sounder trains.

The project will include demolition of the site’s existing buildings, utilities, tracks, and other structures, as well as construction of a new 31,000-square-foot locomotive shop. The yard’s existing tracks will be reconfigured to allow access to the new facility, which will be equipped with a new 125-ton drop table, funded by the Washington State Department of Transportation and a 55-ton overhead bridge crane.

The project is scheduled to begin this month and completed in June 2019 by PCL Construction Services.

PCL has also built other structures for Amtrak in Seattle, which includes construction of the Maintenance of Equipment Facility, a Warehouse, Administrative, and Health and Welfare building.

About Amtrak®

Amtrak – America’s Railroad® – is dedicated to safe and reliable mobility as the nation’s intercity passenger rail service provider and its high-speed rail operator. With our state and commuter partners, we move people, the economy and the nation forward, carrying more than 30 million Amtrak passengers for each of the past six years. Formally known as the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, Amtrak is governed by a 10-member board of directors, nine of whom are appointed by the President of the United States plus the Amtrak CEO. Anthony R. Coscia is board chairman and Jeffrey R. Moreland is vice chairman.  Amtrak operates more than 300 trains daily – at speeds up to 150 mph (241 kph) – connecting more than 500 destinations in 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian Provinces. Learn more at Amtrak.com or call 800-USA-RAIL for schedules, fares and other information. Check us out at blog.Amtrak.com, Like us on Facebook.com and Follow us on Twitter @Amtrak.

 

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