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ATK-97-90 June 10, 1997
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National Railroad Passenger Corporation
Amtrak Intercity Media Relations
210 South Canal Street, Suite 540
Chicago, Illinois 60606-5715

June 10, 1997
Contact: Marc Magliari (312) 655-1338

Amtrak Sunset Limited also changes westbound days of operation

CHICAGO -- Effective with today's departure from San Antonio, the Amtrak Texas Eagle returned to its former level of Superliner service running three days a week between Chicago and San Antonio. A full-service dining car, a sightseer lounge, two sleeping cars with deluxe, family, accessible and standard bedrooms, three coaches, a crew car, mail and express cars and locomotives will be the assigned equipment for the Texas Eagle this summer.

A smaller train without full service has operated since May 11, the date the Texas Eagle was previously scheduled to be discontinued. Last week, Amtrak and Texas Department of Transportation (Texas DOT) officials completed a $5.6 million loan to keep the train operating through Sept. 30, 1997, the conclusion of Amtrak's fiscal year. A bill authorizing the state-funded loan was signed by Texas Gov. George W. Bush on May 16.

"Since Congress created Amtrak 25 years ago, the population of Texas has doubled. There are more of us, and we are traveling in record numbers. It's clear that Texas needs more, not fewer, transportation options like the Texas Eagle," said Thomas Griebel of the Texas DOT.

In order to match a June 1 schedule change for a connection with the Sunset Limited, the Texas Eagle's departure days from Chicago have been changed to Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Westbound Texas Eagle passengers arrive in Texas on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays and can connect with the westbound Sunset Limited to El Paso, Texas; Tucson, Ariz., Los Angeles and other points. The westbound Sunset Limited now originates in Sanford (Orlando), Fla., on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Eastbound days of operation for the Texas Eagle and the Sunset Limited are unchanged.

A recent survey of Amtrak customers ranked the First Class section of the Texas Eagle as among the top First Class sections in the Amtrak system, second only to the acclaimed Coast Starlight and tying with the famous Auto Train, the legendary Southwest Chief and the new Silver Palm.

"We are proud of all the work by Texas Eagle supporters, our customers and our employees in working to preserve the train and maintain the service quality in a difficult time," said Joy Smith, Texas Eagle Product Line Director. "We are looking forward to an outstanding summer and demonstrating why so many people have worked so hard to continue Texas Eagle service."

The Sunset Limited offers transcontinental service from the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean, linking major recreation areas on both coasts and crossing the Mojave Desert. The train also uses bi-level Superliner sleeping cars, dining cars, sightseer lounges and coaches, which have set the standard for comfort in long-distance train travel.

The change in days of operation for the Sunset Limited results in the savings of a full set of train equipment, a 25 percent improvement in equipment productivity.

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