Coast Starlight News from Amtrak’s Richard Phelps March 21st, 2008
Official letter received March 21, sent by e-mail to RailPAC President Paul Dyson.
Dear Mr. Dyson:
Thank you for your email (not posted here) that I received yesterday. At the direction of our President and CEO, Alex Kummant, Amtrak is already in the process of reviewing our current operation of the Coast Starlight as we are rapidly nearing the time when ridership and revenue start to ramp up significantly. We have started the process of re-calling our On Board Service crews in anticipation of an April 21st or April 22nd track restoration date by the Union Pacific. We also are evaluating the possibility of restoring service to Klamath Falls with a full service train, a bus bridge to Eugene, and a stub train between Eugene and Seattle. The economics of this option are under review as we have to have mechanical personnel at both Klamath Falls and Eugene, and we have to secure a bus vendor and place management personnel in Klamath Falls to help handle the bus/train transfer of passengers.
If we are able to start service via the Klamath Falls option, it will allow us to get back into this critical market and retain the booking curve for the summer season. It will also allow our employees time to prepare for the re-launch of the Coast Starlight on May 10, 2008. We should have a decision on this option by sometime next week.
Amtrak has always appreciated the support of RAILPAC over the years and we look forward to continued growth of passenger rail along the route of the Coast Starlight.
Richard H. Phelps
Vice President – Transportation
60 Massachusetts Ave N.E
Washington, DC 20002