Arkansas Congressman John Boozman told me recently that Amtrak officials have never spoken to him about any need for additional equipment. Boozman is the same Arkansas congressman who believes that Amtrak causes polution, but he is, at least, sincere, though misinformed.
Anyway, the loss of Talgo service in the northwest has had a domino effect in that region, and in the crowded northeast corridor, which Amtrak raided to provide replacement cars. Some of the equipment has also been moved from service in California, which has been left hurting.
In Oregon, the Albany Democrat-Herald reports.
A new schedule for the Cascades trains took effect Monday.
One of the trains, shuttling between Eugene and Portland via Albany, Salem and Oregon City, consists of one Amfleet 70-seat coach and one food service car.
The train is called 1004 when going north and 1005 when returning to Eugene. No. 1004 replaces a Talgo run called 504.
“Unfortunately, the 70-person capacity of Train 1004 is considerably less than Train 504’s average daily passenger count of 121 during May and 104 during June,” ODOT-Rail official Bob Melbo said in an e-mail. “We’ve asked Amtrak to try to find another coach for this equipment set.”
The food service car has 48 booth seats, and some of those are now listed as salable, Melbo added. Still there may be days when passengers are turned away.
“What dismays us is that we’ve seen good growth with 504 so far this year, but the Talgo crisis carries the likelihood of blunting that upswing during 2007’s second half,” Melbo wrote.