New Stimulus Package Could Restore Daily Long-Distance Amtrak Routes

Feb 19, 2021

Daily service would be restored to long-distance Amtrak trains in the latest stimulus package under discussion in Congress.

 

The Coast Starlight stops in Albany and Eugene on its way from Seattle to Los Angeles. File photo.
Credit Chris Lehman / KLCC

  

That includes the Coast Starlight, which stops in Albany and Eugene on its way from Seattle to Los Angeles. Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Springfield, said there’s enough money in the bill to keep the trains running daily through the end of September, which is the end of the current federal fiscal year.

“I would hope that we would see restoration of the service as quickly as they can recall people and put the equipment back online," he said. "Maybe that takes a month. But hopefully for the summer travel season they would have restored all of those routes.” 

Amtrak cut the trains to three days a week last fall, citing low ridership as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. 

 

The new funding would also restore daily service on another train that serves Oregon. The Empire Builder departs from Portland and heads east to Minneapolis and Chicago.