Minnesota US Congressional Senators and Representatives to hold Amtrak accountable

November 9, 2022

Citing many Amtrak operational concerns, All Aboard Minnesota board members met with staff members of Senators Tina Smith and Amy Klobuchar, and Representatives Betty McCollum and Dean Phillips. In letters sent to each of these offices, we outlined many service and operational issues experienced by passengers this year such as rampant equipment failures, and reduced numbers of coach and sleeping cars from previous years. The Empire Builder, for example, has run with one fewer coach and sleeping car all year which has caused the train to be almost constantly sold out. There are many instances of passengers reservations being canceled, and sleeping car passengers being bumped to coach accommodations.

There are almost 100 Superliner cars, the equipment that runs on most long distance trains, that are awaiting repair and maintenance. We see no evidence of a program in place to get these cars back in service. Nor, do we see any active effort to replace these cars, many of which were put into service in the late 1970's and early 1980's.

We have asked our Minnesota Congressional delegation to hold Amtrak accountable amidst record levels of funding per the Infrastructure Bill (IIJA Act) to run the national network properly. Representative McCollum's office sent a letter on our behalf to Amtrak Board Chair Anthony Coscia. You can read the letters we sent along with Representative McCollum's letter per the links below.

Additionally, Bob Johnston reporter for Trains Magazine, just published an excellent article on these issues entitled "Amtrak's Capacity Crisis." Link below.

All Aboard Minnesota Letter to US Senators and Representatives

Representative Betty McCollum's Letter to Amtrak's Board Chair

Amtrak's Capacity Crisis - Bob Johnston - Trains Magazine Article