TEXARKANA, Ark. — Amtrak's Texas Eagle route has now restored daily service to Southwest Arkansas stops halted during the pandemic emergency.
Due to COVID relief funding, Amtrak will sustain and restore operations and recall the more than 1,200 furloughed employees through the remainder of Fiscal Year 2021 and into Fiscal Year 2022.
"As of May 24, the routes are fully restored," said Marc Magliari, Amtrak spokesman. "This is due to President Biden's American Rescue Plan, of which Amtrak is a part.
"Offering daily long distance service represents a vital step in our road to recovery," said Amtrak CEO Bill Flynn.
The restoration of this part of the Texas Eagle Route is part of the first wave in three waves restoration of Amtrak services nationwide.
Amtrak is still following CDC guidelines, as passengers are required to wear masks while in the train stations as well as on board the train, except while "actively eating."
The schedule restoration is a critical part of Amtrak's strategy for investing in long distance service. Other components include:
the debut of the new Viewliner II sleeping cars on the Silver Service, the first addition to the Amtrak sleeper fleet in over two decades;
upgraded bedding, towels and linens in private rooms aboard the Auto Train, with additional routes rolling out starting in summer;
fully refreshed Amfleet II cars for coach class routes along the East Coast, including new seating cushions, carpets, curtains and LED reading lights;
multi-year interior refresh program for Superliner and Viewliner I equipment — including new seating cushions, carpet and curtains — beginning to enter service this summer; and
new Amtrak ALC-42 diesel-electric locomotives with higher performance and lower emissions to replace the current long distance engine fleet beginning this year.