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- Arkansas Association of Railroad Passengers -


Train reservations for the Texas Eagle were purged from Amtrak's computer system after the discontinuance of this route was announced on August 8, 1996. The train inventory was not restored to the system until October 2; in the interim, callers to Amtrak reservation centers were advised that this train was being discontinued on November 10, 1996. In view of this mishandling of prospective passengers, the strength of advance reservations on this train is amazing.

Reservations for the month of November were compiled as of October 30, 1996. Peak loads [coach+sleeper] are presented below. The present consist of the Texas Eagle includes three Superliner coaches (225 seats total) and two Superliner sleepers (42 rooms total). [While sleeper capacity is theoretically 44 beds per car, many economy rooms are occupied by only one passenger, and at least one room per car is occupied by on board crew. As few as 27 passengers may represent a sold out sleeper, although the "average" sold-out load is in the range of 33-35 passengers.] Based on the present volume of these reservations, it is expected that virtually every train will sell out during the month of November, with strong ridership carrying over into December and throughout the holiday travel period.

It has been conclusively shown that Amtrak's failure to add additional equipment during the summer resulted in significant ridership losses for the Texas Eagle. Based on the strength of these advance reservations, most Texas Eagles will likely sell-out well in advance of the departure date, resulting in additional passengers being turned away and additional revenue being lost. These unfortunate and unnecessary events could easily be prevented if Amtrak management would add one or more coaches and one Superliner II transition car (operating as an economy sleeper) to the consist of this train. Car availability reports indicate that high-level coaches and Superliner II transition cars are presently available; if Amtrak management persists in arbitrarily limiting the capacity of the Texas Eagle, the Intercity Business Unit may well have the opportunity to explain their actions to Congress in January 1997.

The reservations for November are expressed in two numbers, coach+sleeper, each representing the maximum number on train at the point of peak loading. Maximum ridership usually occurs between Little Rock and St. Louis. Due to numerous group moves south of Fort Worth, coach loadings frequently peak again between Fort Worth and Austin. The date noted below is the date each train is scheduled to leave its origin terminal (Chicago for #21 and Los Angeles for #22.)

             DATE              TRAIN 21          TRAIN 22
             ------            --------          --------
             Nov 1             208+57            194+57
             Nov 3             185+63            192+62
             Nov 5             199+64            212+69
             Nov 8             223+68            213+65
             Nov 10            190+64            189+58
             Nov 12            165+62            155+44
             Nov 15            187+59            159+57
             Nov 17            169+59            158+40
             Nov 19            164+50            160+63
             Nov 22            181+52            220+72
             Nov 24            202+76            239+89
             Nov 26            222+83            194+52
             Nov 29            226+80            235+82

Prepared for Arkansas Rail by Bill Pollard. Email:

Posted: Monday, 4 November 1996.

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