Jenkins seeks train service restoration

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins (R-WV3) has asked Amtrak to reverse its decision to end charter and special service trains, which would severely damage West Virginia’s tourism industry.

 Amtrak’s decision puts West Virginia traditions like the New River Train and Hinton Railroad Days in jeopardy, and Rep. Jenkins has heard from a number of constituents and local leaders very concerned about this action.

 “Cris Meadows, city manager of Hinton, W.Va., has told me this will significantly impact the Hinton Railroad Days, one of the state’s major tourism events and a fundraiser for about a dozen college scholarships. The economic impact to the region will be devastating,” Rep. Jenkins wrote to Amtrak President Richard Anderson.

 “I have also heard concerns that this decision will stop the 52nd running of the New River Train. The New River Train is beloved by West Virginians and brings $5 million in tourism revenue to the state and $2 million to the city of Huntington annually, according to Chris Lockwood, manager of the Collis P. Huntington Railroad Historical Society,” Rep. Jenkins wrote.

 Rep. Jenkins urged Amtrak to reverse this decision as soon as possible and continue these special train services through West Virginia.

 “During a time of budget constraints, Amtrak needs to cultivate the next generation of train enthusiasts who will become lifelong customers. Eliminating these special services will deprive generations of shared memories and end an important tourism revenue stream for thousands of small towns and cities across America,” he wrote.

 The text of the letter was as follows:


March 29, 2018

 

Richard Anderson

President and CEO

Amtrak 

60 Massachusetts Ave. NE 

Washington, D.C. 20002

 

Dear Mr. Anderson:

 

I am deeply concerned by a recent announcement that Amtrak will no longer be offering charter and special service trains. These services are used by thousands of West Virginians and attract tourists and train enthusiasts every year to the Mountain State. I urge you to look carefully at the impact this cancelation will have on communities in my state and across the nation and restore this important service.

 During a time of budget constraints, Amtrak needs to cultivate the next generation of train enthusiasts who will become lifelong customers. Eliminating these special services will deprive generations of shared memories and end an important tourism revenue stream for thousands of small towns and cities across America.

 Over the past 24 hours, I have heard from a number of my constituents who are rightfully concerned that this will hurt our state of West Virginia. Cris Meadows, city manager of Hinton, W.Va., has told me this will significantly impact the Hinton Railroad Days, one of the state’s major tourism events and a fundraiser for about a dozen college scholarships. The economic impact to the region will be devastating.

 I have also heard concerns that this decision will stop the 52nd running of the New River Train. The New River Train is beloved by West Virginians and brings $5 million in tourism revenue to the state and $2 million to the city of Huntington annually, according to Chris Lockwood, manager of the Collis P. Huntington Railroad Historical Society.

 I hope you will listen to my constituents, reexamine this decision and act quickly to restore this service.

 

Sincerely,

 

Evan Jenkins

Member of Congress