s 21972 CONGRESSIONAL RECORD-SENATE December 6, 1973
AMTRAK PASSENGER SERVICE IN
Mr. MANSFIELD. Mr. Presiden( several
days ago I again expressed my concern
about the ne._ec for upgrading Amtrak
passenger ti:ain service in the
Northwest. I cki not know whether 1t 1s
the energy cnsis or the approaching holiday
seeson, but the demand is reaching
the crisis point. There, unfortunately,
seems to be little response by the officials
here ir, Wr.shington. While there have
been some improvements, not enough 1s
being done, and perhaps too many of
their policies are being guided by those
associated with the railroad industry at
the ~irne their policy was to discourage
and abandon passenger trains throughout
I have received information indicating
that, as o! November 30, 1n the State of
Montana alone over 1,000 persons have
been unable to obtain con1irmed reservations
during the period Decem~r 15,
1973, to January 4, 1974. I
The inability of many travelers to obtain
reservations was the subject of a
recent editorial pubUshed in the B11Ungs
Gazette of S ~1day, December 2. The article
also points out that during this
holiday period Amtr~.k 1s plannmg a reduction
in eqUipment. It is very difficult
to understand their reasoning.
I think, furthermore, that not only
should more trains be on the track to
provide more passenger service, but also
that we should give the most serious considerat~
on to tran::.porting by ra11, once
again, the mail which has now been
shifted to the airlines and the trucking
industry. If that 1s done, it would compensate
for th, loss that Amtrak has
been underg .ng.
The time has come for Amtrak to make
a sincere and realistic ell'ort to provide
passenger train service throughout the
Nation. The American public will trayel
by train if given the opportunity and
served by courteous personnel on adequate
and upgraded equipment.
Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent
that an article, two editorials, and
the text of a letter from a Montana
constituent outlining his own pe?sonal
experiences with Amtrak be printed at
this point in the RECORD.
There being no obJection, the article,
two editorials, and letter were ordered
to be printed in the R.J:coRD, as follows:
Montana's southern ra.ll route Amtrak runs
each way three times per week. Eastbounds
leave Bllllngs at 5 : ~5 p .m. on TUesdays.
Thursday and saturdays. Westbounds leave
Bllllngs at 11:15 a .m. TUesday, Thursdays
Oronbeck said that each tre.ln leaving B111-
lngs now consists of eight c&rs, usually three
coaches, two sleepers, a baggage Cl\1', a lounge
car and a diner
He pointed out that lf additional cars, say
two or three, should become available 10
days before Christmas, thls still would not
take care of the passenger load.
Montana's northern rall route now has one
run each way dally. The eastbound leaves
Havre at 11 .18 a.m. and the westbound leaves
at 3:3B p.m
Equipment assigned by Amtrak Includes
two nonreserved seat coaches, two reserved
seat coaches, two sleeping cars, a lounge (big
dome), a diner, a baggage car and two mallstorage
Carbone said that Amtrak's previous pollcy
has been to add additional cars tor the
Christmas hollday season, but that so far
he has received no word on ple.ns tor this
In the meantime Carbone 1.6 operating on
a day-to-day basts. So tar he has been able
to accommodate passengers on the northern
route. He Indicated the.t soon, as the season's
passenger load Increases, he probably won't
The demise <$! passenger service as operated
by the non-government railway companies
with two eastbound and two westbound
trains dally on both northern and southern
routes was generally greeted with llttle resistance
2.5 years ago.
But now that the family Betsy seems to be
running short on gasoline, the conductor's
"All Aboard," might be followed with "As
long as there IS room."
A BIG, FAT FLUB
AMTRAK MAY BE UNABLE To PROVIDJ: SERVICJ: ' (By Duane W. Blowier)
FOR ALL WHO WANT To RIDJ:
It's time to raise hell and plenty of lt with
(By John MacKay) Amtrak.
"I'll be home tor Chrl.stmas, It only in my
So went the sentimental song that OI.s
sang during World War II.
Now In Energy Crlsls-1973, It would seem
that the retrain should be modltled · "I'll be
home tor Chrlstmas--lt I can get a ticket
on jet plane, Amtrak or piggy-back."
Amtrak doesn't look too promlslng. E. L.
Oronbeck, head of Intercity Rail P&SS6Ilger
Service ln BU!ings, reports his omce has 160
holiday season reservations uu!l.lled .and on
Hl.s counterptl.l't in Havre, C. W. C&rbone,
sa.ld he hasn't counted reservation requests
yet, but noted that biB omce bas "quite a
stack" of requests tor reservations.
Oronbeck said that "on account
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