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Thu May 27, 2021, 10:06 AM

Amtrak Empire Builder resumes daily service across Montana

AP: Amtrak Empire Builder resumes daily service across Montana



Amtrak Empire Builder resumes daily service across Montana

May 25, 2021

KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) — Amtrak’s Empire Builder train has resumed daily service from Chicago to Seattle and Portland, including a dozen stops along Montana’s Hi-Line, after cutbacks made due to the pandemic.

The Empire Builder makes stops in Wolf Point, Glasgow, Malta, Havre, Shelby, Cut Bank, Browning, East Glacier Park, Essex, West Glacier, Whitefish and Libby in Montana.

Whitefish is the busiest stop, with more than 55,000 passengers boarding or disembarking there in a typical year, the Daily Inter Lake reported.

“Whitefish depends on the reliable service — and economic boost — that the Empire Builder route brings, and we are thrilled that service is returning to seven days a week,” Whitefish Mayor John Muhfeld said in a statement. “With travel season right around the corner, this is just the shot in the arm our economy needed as we work to build back after the pandemic.”

Amtrak reduced service on most of its long-distance routes to three days a week in October as ridership dropped due to the COVID-19 pandemic. ... After Montana U.S. Sen. Jon Tester introduced legislation to restore full funding, Amtrak was provided $166 million in the most recent federal stimulus bill to return to normal operations and reinstate about 1,200 workers.

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Daily service returns on Empire Builder

By CHAD SOKOL
Daily Inter Lake | May 24, 2021 3:20 PM

Amtrak resumed daily service on its long-distance passenger routes Monday, including the Empire Builder that connects Montana's Hi-Line communities and brings tourists to Whitefish.

Amtrak cut service on most of its long-distance routes to just three days a week in October as the pandemic caused a precipitous drop in ridership and ticket revenue. The resumption of daily service is the result of a bill introduced by U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., which provides up to $166 million for the carrier to reinstate furloughed employees and return to normal operations.

"Montanans from Wolf Point to Libby rely on the Empire Builder to visit family and friends, conduct business and stay connected with the rest of the country, and these cuts were an unacceptable attack on our frontier communities," Tester said in a statement Monday. "Today is a great day for thousands who live and work on the Hi-Line."

Montana Sen. Steve Daines and Rep. Matt Rosendale, both Republicans, voted against the Amtrak measure as it was wrapped up in the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which included pandemic relief as well as other spending measures. During a Senate hearing in October, though, Daines said daily service on the Empire Builder is "essential to providing Montanans access to health care" and "critical to our local economy" by accommodating tourism.

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Reply Amtrak Empire Builder resumes daily service across Montana (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves May 27 OP
keithsw May 27 #1

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu May 27, 2021, 10:28 AM

1. Would love

To do Montana and Wyoming by train. Maybe next year after the wife retires

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