News & Reviews News Wire Amtrak to restore four long-distance trains to daily service in late May

Amtrak to restore four long-distance trains to daily service in late May

By Bob Johnston | April 19, 2022

Two others remain on five-day schedules; Silver Meteor canceled until Sept. 11

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Passenger train led by black locomotive with blue and white stripes
Amtrak ALC42 No. 301, in the “Day One” paint scheme, leads the eastbound Empire Builder through Elm Grove, Wis., on March 24, 2022. The Builder is one of four trains set to be returned to daily service in late May. (Trains: David Lassen)

WASHINGTON — Four of the seven Amtrak long-distance trains currently operating five days per week will return to daily schedules the week of May 23, according to information obtained by Trains News Wire. Two others will continue to run on the five-day-per-week schedule, while cancellation of Silver Meteor service to and from Florida will continue until Sept. 11.

Other moves outlined in a planning document include the end of a shared-equipment experiment involving the Capitol Limited and Texas Eagle; capacity moves involving the Cardinal and some Northeast Corridor trains; and an additional Boston-Washington Acela round trip.

“Bolstered by demand for both business and leisure travel, Amtrak will restore additional train frequencies for summer travel,” Amtrak said in a statement. “Providing customers with increased travel options, the new summer schedule features additional Acela and Northeast Regional frequencies as well as some long distance routes.”

Restorations of daily long-distance service

Returning to daily operation will be the Lake Shore Limited, Southwest Chief, California Zephyr, and Empire Builder, while the Crescent and City of New Orleans will remain at their current five-day-per-week frequencies. The table below includes more details.

Amtrak reduced the trains’ frequencies in January, first targeting March 28 and then May 23 as dates to restore operation. It had been accepting daily bookings after those dates [see “Amtrak extends cuts …,” News Wire, March 3, 2022].m Passengers who have made Silver Meteor, City of New Orleans, and Crescent reservations on days when the trains will not run after May 22 are being notified.

Equipment moves include end of run-through experiment

The Capitol Limited-Texas Eagle shared equipment experiment that began March 28 will end May 2 [see “Equipment run-through a factor …,” News Wire, March 25, 2022]. The long layover for servicing at St. Louis in both directions has been eliminated, so the trains will revert to their original schedules.

Regarding equipment distribution, the planning document says, “Consists are adjusted on several [national network] routes, reflecting lower than expected car availability and onboard service workforce limitations.”

On the Cardinal, roomettes not occupied by crew members in the train’s baggage dorm car will now be available for sale, marginally increasing sleeper capacity by about 4 roomettes. Northeast Regional trains will also see expanded consists, “including opening the existing sixth coach on several trains and targeting additions of a seventh coach.”

Acela addition; suspension of other trains extended

Also on the Northeast Corridor, Amtrak is adding another Boston-Washington Acela weekday round-trip and a Philadelphia-Reading, Pa., Thruway bus connection, effective May 9. Other trains suspended in January, including overnight Boston-Washington-Newport News, Va., train nos. 65, 66, and 67 are not scheduled (in the reservation system, these trains are showing “sold out” beginning Sept. 11).

In the Midwest, the second Chicago-Carbondale, Ill., daily round trip dropped in January will remain cancelled until Sept. 11.

Updated Amtrak long-distance scheduling

Table showing Amtrak long-distance scheduling by days of operation

14 thoughts on “Amtrak to restore four long-distance trains to daily service in late May

  1. Of course, great news for passengers who will be using Amtrak mainline trains for the upcoming summer vacation!

    If you’re not already imagining the rhythmic turning of the train wheels and witnessing the breathtaking views that you can only see from America’s railroad, you’ve been missing out on the self-care of a lifetime. With different private rooms in comfy sleepers, delicious onboard meals and plenty of legroom in cozy coaches, you can sit back and enjoy from now on an important part of your entire summer holiday experience.

    Let us recall that Amtrak is 47% more energy efficient than traveling by car and 33% more energy efficient than domestic air travel.

    Dr. Güntürk Üstün

    1. Yeah but coach passengers are still barred from the “delicious onboard meals in the diner. Congress doesn’t seem to care about that discriminatory policy. And the pathetic fools at RPA, who claim at every turn to have such clout in Congress have made no headway. And the Capitol and Texas Eagle have been shorn of their Superliner Sightseer Lounges. And the eastern LDs and the Eagle still don’t have their full diners restored. The Adirondack is still suspended (since early 2020) just because it cannot enter Canada, thus robbing the NYState communities between Saratoga and Plattsburgh of service Other than that, everything is hunky dory. Btw, I wrote to Empire State Passengers Association, an RPA affiliate, on that and one of their top officers actually replied, surprise, surprise. But he wrote to the effect that ridership levels were so low from those stations compared to the cross-border that the service would not me missed. I wrote back that we could probably say the same for some of the Empire Builder stops in ND and MT. Should we, by the same reasoning discontinue THAT train as well. Crickets.

    1. True, but if you want to go to/from Florida you have to endure a 7+hour layover in Savannah.

  2. Silver Meteor provided better connections in NYC and DC. Also Many stationa such as Charleston have no service. I had a res om SM and amtrak changed to star yet the connection in New York doesnt work now need to stay overnight in New York on my dime

  3. With the continued cancellation of the Meteor, their is no connection in Washington , Phila.or NY to go west from the southeast !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! More Amtrak stupidity !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111

    1. LON —- Did the US Southeast have a decent connection to Amtrak before COVID? One train at Atlanta (not a very good one), no trains at Nashville, Knoxville or Chattanooga, one at Memphis in the middle of the night, no route at all from the Midwest to the Southeast. ….. For passenger trains, US Southeast resembles the Canadian Prairie, travel by rail almost nonexistent.

      I live in the Great Lakes. Great Lakes to Southeast is a gargantuan travel market …… by air.

    1. Because to top of the pile isn’t all that good, just as well to be at the bottom of the pile.

    2. Yes Mr.Pins I have one. Stephen Gardner wants to discontinue it permanently. Just like the Sunset NOL-FL after CSX restored its railroad post-Katrina. Stevie will continue to show the train “temporarily suspended” until memory that it ever ran goes away with the passage of time. Where are you SecTrans Pete and FRA administrator Amit Bose? Pete is MIA and Amit is too busy dumping on CSX and NS for their resistance to Amtrak NOL-Mobile.

    1. Absolutely correct, Mr. Vokac. I’ll add to that that once-daily LDs aren’t a “viable transportation option” either, especially after 5 decades.

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