Trains For America

More choices for better transportation

Chicago Tribune takes the bait

We’re talking about a complete press release reprint. Read the best thigh slapper of the day here, which I have highlighted.

A bilevel diner car called the Cross Country Cafe will pull into Chicago Union Station for the first time Monday on Amtrak’s City of New Orleans trains.

It’s part of Amtrak’s effort to restore ambience to rail travel as well as introduce a taste of the regions that the intercity railroad serves, officials said.

The cafe is outfitted with more comfortable seating and adjustable lighting, Amtrak said. Some items on the City of New Orleans cafe menu include red beans and rice, jambalaya and bread pudding pie, in addition to lounge service providing other choices on the route between Chicago and New Orleans with a stop in Memphis, Amtrak said.

Although we are not devoted to nostalgia here, was not the lunch counter style cafe care on the Pan American called the “Cross Country Tavern?”

And, yes, I know, it’s “ambiance.” Without becoming some sort of nitpicker, I thought everywhere had some sort of ambiance. Wonder what they meant to say?

I have already said enough on this subject anyway.


Filed under: Amtrak

Capon to make NPR appearance Tuesday

NARP Executive Director Ross Capon will be a guest on the Diane Rehm Show on National Public Radio tomorrow, October 30 to discuss Amtrak and passenger rail issues. Topics will include Senate Bill S. 294, the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act. For most NPR stations, the program will air at 10 AM Eastern time. Check your local NPR listings here.

After the show airs, you may listen to Capon’s segment at
this link.

The Senate should move to a final vote on S.294 by tomorrow, Wednesday morning at the latest. As was the case last week, the message to your Senators continues to be: Please support S. 294 and please vote against any other anti-passenger rail amendment that is offered, especially amendments to cut funding or add micromanaging language to the bill. Press reports today indicate that Senator Wayne Allard (R-CO) may offer an amendment to reinstate the disastrous “Self-Sufficiency” language from the 1997 Amtrak reauthorization. (S.294 specifically eliminates this requirement.)

Given the timeliness of this issue, E-mails and letters are not relevant. Phone calls are needed.

You can reach any Senate office by calling use our toll-free Congressional Action Hotline. The number is 1-800-679-1581. When prompted, enter our access code: 1189. Please make this call during normal Senate business hours which are generally 9am to 5:30pm eastern time. Please do not make any calls today (Monday) after 5:30pm eastern (4:30pm central, 3:30pm mountain, 2:30pm pacific), but start calling in the morning (9:00am eastern, 8:00am central, 7:00am mountain, 6:00am pacific)

If you are on-line, your senators direct-dial number and web site are here.

Filed under: Amtrak, Passenger Rail Transportatio Policy

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October 2007