Boy Scouts of America is urging Amtrak President Charles “Wick” Moorman to operate the Cardinal daily during July 2017 when the Scouts will hold their National Jamboree at Mount Hope, West Virginia.
The jamboree location is within the 70,000-acre New River Gorge National River recreation area. The Chicago-New York Cardinal operates tri-weekly.
The Boy Scouts became aware of the movement to urge Amtrak to operate the Cardinal on a daily basis during a conference held in September in Cincinnati.
“I hope Amtrak will consider the opportunity to take advantage of the Jamboree window to operate daily service on the Cardinal and to work with local tourism representatives to maximize this unique opportunity,” BSA Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh wrote in a letter to Amtrak. “I know I speak for all when I say that enhanced service would be a welcome addition offering the possibility of increased ridership and visitors to the New River Gorge.”
All Aboard Ohio, a rail passenger advocacy group, said that Amtrak cannot legally expand service that increases its operating losses without identifying funding to offset it.
AAO noted that Amtrak has estimated that it has enough equipment to operate the Cardinal as often as five days a week.
The equipment pool available to expand operations of the Cardinal to seven days a week may be sufficient by next summer due to Amtrak taking delivery of new Viewliner cars being built by CAF USA.