Amtrak Cuts Costs to Maintain Rural Colorado Service

Colorado Counties

Colorado Counties

Udall Welcomes Amtrak’s Commitment to Southwest Chief, Rail Service to Trinidad, La Junta   ‘The Southwest Chief Plays a Critical Role in Supporting Jobs, Keeping … Southern Colorado Connected to Broader World’

Mark Udall, a strong advocate for rural Colorado, welcomed remarks from Amtrak’s CEO that the company is cutting costs in an effort to continue service to southern Colorado communities along the Southwest Chief. The train route, which runs between Chicago and Los Angeles, makes stops in Trinidad, Lamar and La Junta, supporting local residents and businesses.

Joe Boardman, Amtrak’s CEO, noted the company’s commitment to the Southwest Chief — and southern Colorado cities — in a recent statement to a national news website. He couched recent cuts, including ending complimentary wine and cheese receptions as well as free champagne for some travelers, as a way to strengthen the company’s service to rural Colorado and other communities underserved by airlines and other transportation networks.

“I am proud Amtrak is cutting unnecessary spending in order to ensure the Southwest Chief can continue to serve the residents of Trinidad, Lamar and La Junta,” Udall said. “The Southwest Chief plays a critical role in supporting jobs and keeping businesses and residents of southern Colorado connected to the broader world. Although Amtrak still has work to do, this is a step in the right direction.”

“Amtrak is making good on our commitment to reduce costs and eliminate food and beverage losses over five years. Our focus remains on providing an excellent customer service experience to Amtrak passengers even as we take action to eliminate wine and cheese receptions, complimentary champagne, flowers and vases for dining tables, and chocolates on the pillow from long distance trains,” Boardman said in his recent statement. “Our most essential goal is to ensure Amtrak continues to serve small town America that is being abandoned by airlines and bus companies, and keep communities such as Trinidad and La Junta, Colo.; Devil’s Lake and Minot, N.D.; Birmingham, Ala.; and Dodge City, Kansas, connected by rail to the rest of the nation.”

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