Help Save the Empire Builder!

September 14, 2020

And all long distance trains by calling your US Senator -

Your task is easy. Simply email your two Minnesota or Wisconsin U.S. Senators, contact information below.

•Request that they set Amtrak appropriation at the $5B pandemic relief level to support preservation of daily operational levels for the national network, and tell Amtrak to run all long distance trains daily.

Senator Amy Klobuchar contact form:
Phone: 612-727-5220
Senator Tina Smith contact form:

Phone: 612-221-1016

Wisconsin info

•Senator Tammy Baldwin

709 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Phone: (202) 224-5653


•Senator Ron Johnson

328 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Phone: (202)224-5323


Key Supporting Points and Messaging-

  • Reducing the long distance trains from daily to 3x a week service will disrupt millions of travelers who depend on these trains, and the connectivity of the national network will be broken
  • Amtrak's metrics to restore daily service have been roundly criticized by RPA and others. See the RPA Hotline and website for more details
  • Long distance trains have provided 45% of Amtrak's revenue during the pandemic thus far
  • Since March, Northeast Corridor and state-supported corridor service revenues are down 90% compared with a 64% decline for the National Network.
  • Long-distance ridership is down 62 percent compared with the same period last year
  • Ridership on state supported and shorter routes through more urban areas is down more than 80 percent, according to an analysis by industry experts.
  • L-D routes retained 22% of year-over-year ridership

    •Three times better than the 7% on short-distance state-supported services

    •Nearly eight times better than the 3% on the NEC.

    •From March through August, NEC hauled 30% of Amtrak’s passenger miles, State Corridors 30%, and LD routes hauled 39%

  • The main message based upon these facts is that it appears that Amtrak's move to reduce the long distance trains is more idealogical rather than pure economics

  • Remember, Former Amtrak Chief Richard Anderson's goal was to eliminate most of the long distance trains stating at one time: "We don't want to run alot of trains in the middle of nowhere where nobody lives." This is the excuse Amtrak needs, we need to block them, now!