Website Launched for Amtrak Routes Study

A study of potential new Amtrak long-distance routes has taken its first step with the launching of a website.

The site, which is administered by the Federal Railroad Administration and went active on Oct. 28, can be found at

The home page notes that the study is in its early stages and thus far does little more than describe the agency’s project to examine the possibility of reviving routes discontinued by Amtrak at various points during its 51-year history.

The study was mandated by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021.

The study also will consider the prospect of making daily the twi-weekly Sunset Limited (New Orleans-Los Angeles) and Cardinal (Chicago-New York).

“This study will ultimately create a long-term vision for long-distance passenger rail service and identify capital projects and funding needed to implement that vision,” the FRA said on the site’s homepage.

Many of the discontinued Amtrak long-distant route vanished in October 1979 and May 1997.

Among them have been the Floridian (Chicago-Miami/St. Petersburg), National Limited (New York-Kansas City) Lone Star (Chicago- Houston), Broadway Limited (Chicago-New York); Three Rivers (Chicago-New York) North Coast Hiawatha (Chicago-Seattle), Desert Wind (Salt Lake City-Los Angeles) and Pioneer (Seattle-Denver).

One challenge of reinstating some of these trains is that key segments of their route have since been abandoned and the trains would need an alternative route.

A similar challenge is that existing segments used by some trains have since been downgraded to much slower speeds.

The FRA website indicated that the study will be developed over the next year. An FRA spokesman told Trains magazine that the study also will consider new routes that Amtrak has never operated.

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