Amtrak to end charters and private car movements?

AMERICAN national passenger operator Amtrak revealed plans in late-March to stop the provision of charter services, and to end the long tradition of attaching private coaches to long-distance services.

Amtrak currently provides charter services using its own trains, or provides crew or diesel locos to some mainline steam charters.

Former Santa Fe Pullman sleeping car Palm Leaf, built in 1951 for the Santa Fe Super Chief service (Chicago-Los Angeles), is seen at San Diego on January 1, 2014. The two private cars had arrived on the rear of an Amtrak California service on New Year’s Eve. KEITH FENDER

There are between 200 and 250 private cars licensed for use attached to Amtrak services. However, all of this activity (charters and private cars) reportedly earns under $5million in revenue each year, and in the view of Amtrak management is not cost effective for the planning and resourcing needed.

A petition to ask Amtrak to reconsider its decision has been launched.

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