Long distance train travel is nothing short of romantic. Gazing out at the fleeting landscape sliding by while drinking care-free cocktails in the train’s bar-car– it’s enough to make anyone yearn for a national railway system.
Trump on the other hand wants none of it. In his newly proposed budget, the president would cut federally funded, long-distance lines that make up a large portion of Amtrak’s $227 million in net losses each year. These lines include trains that regularly service ski areas in Montana and Colorado.
The recently revived Winter Park “Ski Train,” which is part of the larger and longer “California Zephyr“ route, now faces an uphill battle for continuing service for its Denver skiers. That unfortunate news comes after Amtrak officials praised the line, whose improved usage exceeded their expectations during the 2016/2017 ski season. The “Empire Builder“ line, which begins in Chicago and ends in Seattle with stops in Whitefish, Montana and Sandpoint, Idaho is also facing termination.
In its current form, the proposed budget cut would eliminate $2.4 billion in federal funding for Amtrak and the ski lines would likely be the first to go. The president hopes to substitute long distance routes with shorter, more regional-focused lines that service large urban populations.
Find out more here: Amtrak’s long-distance train routes could get the ax