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ATK-97-31 May 9, 1997
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National Railroad Passenger Corporation
Amtrak Intercity Media Relations
210 South Canal Street, Suite 540
Chicago, Illinois 60606-5715

May 9, 1997
Contact: Marc Magliari (312) 655-1338


CHICAGO -- Amtrak has decided to postpone the termination of the Texas Eagle for several days based on legislative action taken today by the Texas House of Representatives and the anticipated approval of this measure by the Texas Senate and Gov. George Bush in the coming week. Reservations are now being accepted for the southbound departure on Sunday, May 11, from Chicago and St. Louis and the northbound departure from San Antonio on Tuesday, May 13.

Amtrak had planned to discontinue service on the St. Louis- San Antonio segment of the Texas Eagle, effective May 10, 1997. The Texas Eagle operates three-days- weekly between Chicago and San Antonio, via St. Louis and Little Rock.

Continued operation of the train is dependent upon passage of this measure by the Texas Senate, approval by the governor and a fully executed loan agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation. The measure being considered by the Legislature would enable the state to extend a $5.6 million loan to Amtrak to continue operation of the Texas Eagle through Sept. 30, 1997.

Amtrak notified the State of Texas in August 1996 that the rail passenger corporation would have to take actions to reduce its operating losses in fiscal year 1997. These actions included the elimination of the St. Louis-San Antonio segment of the Texas Eagle route on Nov. 10, 1996.

Congress later appropriated additional funding to continue this service until May 10, 1997, to give the state the opportunity to secure funding to cover the operating deficit of this train or an alternative service.

Amtrak appreciates the considerable efforts made to date by federal, state and local officials and others to retain service on the Texas Eagle. The train serves many of the nation's largest passenger markets and could play a key role in Amtrak's future route network.

Customers should visit a staffed Amtrak station, call 1-800- USA-RAIL or see an authorized Amtrak travel agent, for details on this or any other Amtrak service. Schedule and service information is also available at the Amtrak site on the World Wide Web at