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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Amtrak tweaks Chicago-to-Washington-to-Florida schedule

In an effort to help passengers better connect with its Silver Star route to Florida, Amtrak is adjusting its schedule starting July 9 by pulling its Capitol Limited service out of Chicago an hour-and-a-half earlier.

"One out of every five guests that ride an Amtrak long-distance train has Florida as their destination, so it’s important to do what we can to enhance service and accommodate them," said Bill Lerch, general manager of Amtrak’s Eastern Business Group, in a prepared statement. "The earlier departure from Chicago also means the Capitol Limited will depart before the Lake Shore Limited, which should enhance the revenue and operation of both trains."

In mid-May, Amtrak restored Capitol Limited’s guaranteed connection to Silver Star service by changing train equipment. Capitol Limited ridership has increased noticeably since: May’s 14,063 passengers represented a 4.5 percent increase compared with May 2000 ridership.

And from October 2000 (start of Amtrak’s fiscal year) through May 2001, the national passenger railroad recorded 90,271 trips on the Capitol Limited route — 2.7 percent higher compared with the same period for fiscal-year 2000.

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More News from 7/9/2001