Voice of the Reader: Use partnerships to boost Amtrak service

July 15, 2015

A letter to the editor in The Southern Illinoisan, Wednesday, July 15, 2015.

To the Editor:

Mr. Tom Carper wrote a very good column on Wednesday about Amtrak, I do have a suggestion for all to consider. The city of Memphis has been for the last few years looking into a second train daily to Chicago.

Why can’t the 8:30 a.m. train that arrives in Carbondale around 1:30 p.m. continue on to Memphis, making a stop in Newbern, arriving around 6:30 p.m.? Then it could turn around overnight and depart at 11:30 a.m. to make the stop here at 3:30 or 4 p.m. and still arrive in Chicago at the normal time.

Two problems would be solved. Memphis would have the second train it seeks and Illinois would have a partner sharing in some of the costs with Tennessee.

In a few years, this could be taken one step further. Their are four casino areas in the country and only Reno has Amtrak service. I’m sure Tunica would be interested in running the route down to them, only another 45 minutes or so away. That would be a big boost for them and help out the route even more. Then Illinois could share the costs with a third state, but it would increase ridership even more so. If everyone could get behind this idea, give it some serious thought, it could be a win-win-win for all involved and would increase tourism for everybody, with minimal cash outlay and a whole lot of up-side for this state.

Michael Reynolds


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