The President of the Iowa Association of Railroad Passengers is calling on Iowa’s Congressmen to oppose efforts in the U-S House to cut six Amtrak routes. Henry Wulff says the routes aren’t meeting set guidelines for profitability, but he says cutting them won’t help.He says cutting trains leads to the lost of more routes as customers will turn away if there aren’t enough choices available. One of the routes that would be cut is the so-called “Southwest Chief” that stops in Fort Madison. Wulff says it’s a good example of how cutting a route can hurt the whole system.He says it would cut a connection to the west coast and leave only one route west from Chicago to Los Angeles. Wulff says that route is already full and couldn’t handle the additional riders if the Southwest Chief route is cut. Unlike the airlines, Wulff says the passenger train service has held strong after September 11th.He says some of the passengers lost by the airline have come over to the passenger trains, but not all of them. Wulff says the new president of Amtrak needs more time to prove he’s turning the organization around.Wulff says the Senate has already passed a bill on the issue.He says the Iowa association can support the Senate bill because it has the full one-point-two billion dollar appropriation for Amtrak. Amtrak currently stops in six Iowa cities.
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