Amtrak To Cut Service On Colorado Rail Lines

Amtrak trains at Union Staton in Denver.
Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Amtrak trains at Union Staton in Denver.

Amtrak will cut service on its two rail lines that run through Colorado later this year.

That's according to an internal memo obtained by The Washington Post and CNN. The California Zephyr, which runs across the Eastern Plains, through Denver and into the mountains, and the Southwest Chief, which slices through southeastern Colorado, will drop from daily service to just three times a week on Oct. 1, 2020.

Glenwood Springs Mayor Jonathan Godes said the cut would hurt his city's already suffering tourism economy.

“People from all over the country use that Zephyr line to get to Glenwood and to recreate, including my own mother,” he said. “And so it would be really disappointing if those cuts go through.”

Godes said he would lobby Colorado's federal delegation, including Western Slope Republican Rep. Scott Tipton, to prevent the cuts.

Amtrak's ridership has dropped by 90 percent, the Post reported.

“Congress is not going to support us indefinitely to run mostly empty trains,” Roger Harris, Amtrak’s executive vice president and chief marketing and revenue officer, said in the memo to employees. “We need to demonstrate that we are using our resources efficiently and responsibly.”