Trains For America

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Beaumont, Texas Amtrak “station” location raises questions for city and rail lines

The most interesting bit of information in this detail laden report is in the last line. Amtrak total ridership last year in Beaumont: 1,662. Based on 6 arrivals and departures every week, that averages to around 5 passengers every time the Sunset stops.

(The paper ran a poll on the subject and the comments are priceless.)

TFA reported on the stimulus money set aside to fix this appalling situation a few weeks ago and there is indeed $1.25 million in federal money. That is almost unprecedented but the situation is so extreme and the city should be a prime stop.

The Beaumont Enterprise has a fine report and an unbelievable photograph of the “station.” There is no building, no bathrooms, and no sign. It looks like the site of the old SP station and all that remains is a concrete slab. There is no possible way to know where the Sunset stops except sheer luck. (I have requested permission to use the photograph.)

The city is understandably displeased with the present location and wants to move closer to downtown. The Kansas City Southern has taken a negative position on this, but it’s hard to tell from here what would be involved in relocating the stop to KCS trackage. Local leaders seem a bit perplexed by the sudden turn of events, and that is somewhat understandable.

Here it is, Beaumont. Tick, tick, tick.


Filed under: Amtrak, Regional USA Passenger Rail

7 Responses

  1. Paul says:

    It sure fits that Beaumont, the heart of USA oil production “back in the day” would have such a train station and low ridership. How symbolic this is in historical context.

  2. patlynch says:

    Back in the late 60s, I used to get on and off of the Sunset at Beaumont from time to time and the train was a disaster. The SP station had been moved from downtown to this desolate location and I presume the Amtrak stop is at this site.

    Beaumont is a great town. Population in the city is 112,000 and Jefferson County has 245,000. This should be an excellent station and it is plain that circumstances have dwindled Amtrak business to near zero.

    The allocation of $1.25 million for this improvement is solid proof that Amtrak intends to vastly improve service on the Sunset.

  3. There is no “station” in Beaumont. Last time I was on the Sunset Ltd., three weeks before it was eliminated from Florida by mother nature,
    and illegal action or inaction, on the part of Amtrak,there was nothing but a cracked up concrete slab and a platform in like condition, perhaps two or three car lengths long. Worse even that that is that by then Beaumont had become a crew change point because it was unlikely that a NewOrleans operating crew could make Houston under the hours of service law. (12 hours)

  4. In regards to Amtrak and Beaumont, TX: I worked in Beaumont for several years during the late l960,s and was able to visit the SP station there many times when the Sunset arrived and departed. Service and patronage were not the best by say, Santa Fe railroad standards, but were certainly better than you say they exist now, almost 50 yrs later. The SP station as I recall was very good and pleasing even then. Too bad the powers that be in Beaumont didn,t work with SP to save it. The KCS station there in Beaumont was even nicer and I visited it many times. The service and patronage was even then much better than that of SP. Of course by that date SP didn,t care and KCS still tried, and it certainly showed, which goes to prove if one provides good service, good facilities and caring people, the public will respond favorably. Hopefully Amtrak and Beaumont can come together and have a very nice station that all can use and be proud of and not a tin shack. One only hopes that there are people down there that have a vision of what should be and the guts and fortitude to see that it gets done right!

  5. Lo says:

    do you think its safe for a girl to travel alone from houston to there?

  6. John says:

    I boarded the train here. The famous Sunset Limited train which goes from New Orleans to Los Angeles (Houston,San Antonio,El Paso,Palm Springs,and many other intermediate stops) I received first class service,including dinner in the diner.There is also a Lounge car on the train with all kinds on liquor. I recommed riding this train. Yes, the station in Beaumont was demolished in 1968 and there in just a platform remining to board the train, but it was RIGHT ON TIME and from my understaing the city is planning on improving the location of the station. I recommed riding this train 100 percent. The 1-800- USA-RAIL phone number has very helpful and knowledgable staff answering the phone and I do reccommend sleeping car accomodation for longer trips and it helps to book THOSE 1 or 2 weeks in advance. Amtrak in continuously adding more cars to the train as more and more Texans (and everyone else) is riding Amtrak more and more. Deliciously food on the dining car. Can beat this service I reccommend it. AAAA+++++

  7. tj says:

    the old sp station is in downtown beaumont

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