March 23, 2017
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President Donald Trump’s spending plan, as it stands, would eliminate government-subsidized train travel. The cuts would effectively eliminate Amtrak’s Texas Eagle service, which runs from Central, North and East Texas, on to Chicago as the final destination. Ridership on the Texas Eagle route increased 23.2% to 110,970 passengers from October 2016 to early January 2017, up from 90,099 passengers at the same time a year before.
The current federal subsidy covered 6% of Amtrak’s operating costs in 2016. The federal subsidy is what the president wants to eliminate.
This would not be the first time the Texas Eagle had been threatened with a shut-down. The service was to be dismantled in the mid-1990s because of low ridership. Lobbying efforts from East Texas convinced Congress to fund the line.
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