Amtrak spokeswoman Kimberly Woods said Wednesday that the cuts will take effect Oct. 1 and remain in place until at least the summer of 2021, but daily service could be restored if demand improves along its long-distance routes.
Jim Mathews, president and chief executive of the Rail Passengers Association advocacy group, said he thinks the cuts are short-sighted and will hurt long-term demand for these routes.
The train routes being cut to three days week include the California Zephyr, Capitol Limited, City of New Orleans, Coast Starlight, Crescent, Empire Builder, Lake Shore Limited, Palmetto, Southwest Chief, and Texas Eagle. The Sunset Limited and Cardinal trains already operate three times a week.
Amtrak said its Auto Train, which runs from the Washington, D.C., suburbs to the Orlando, Florida, area, is the only long-distance route that will continue to operate daily.