Amtrak Asked To Continue Charter, Special Service Trains

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – A West Virginia congressman says a decision by Amtrak to end charter and special service trains would hurt the state’s tourism industry.

Republican Evan Jenkins asked Amtrak President Richard Anderson in a letter last week to reverse the decision.

Jenkins says the decision jeopardizes traditions such as southern West Virginia’s New River Train and Hinton Railroad Days, whose proceeds fund about a dozen college scholarships.

The letter says that according to the Collis P. Huntington Railroad Historical Society, the New River Train brings an estimated $5 million in tourism revenue to the state and $2 million annual to the city of Huntington.

Jenkins says Amtrak “needs to cultivate the next generation of train enthusiasts who will become lifelong customers.”

He says eliminating the special services “will deprive generations of shared memories and end an important tourism revenue stream.”