Amtrak celebrates completion of $5M Longview station restoration
LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - A big renovation and restoration project is complete at Longview’s Amtrak station.
The goal is to make the station more accessible to customers, and Amtrak is doing similar projects across the country in a pitch to get more people to ride the train.
With a ceremonial ribbon cutting, local leaders in Longview and Amtrak officials gathered at the Pacific Street train station to celebrate the completion of a $5 million improvement project.
“The Longview station is now 21st century accessible. Rail passenger service will be the economic and mobility transportation of future generations,” says retired Amtrak employee Grif Hubbard.
Across the country, Amtrak has completed 172 ADA station-related projects, with another 29 stations targeted for completion this fiscal year at an investment estimated at $113 million dollars.
A big part of it, ramps.
“We have an obligation to make them ADA accessible. How many people do you see travel that don’t have roll-on luggage. That don’t use strollers. Everything we do with people in wheelchairs, scooters and walkers benefits everybody,” said Amtrak media relations manager Marc Magliari.
This as some Amtrak labor problems have developed, with a possible freight strike looming.
“We might have some interruptions this weekend with some of the labor issues going on with the railroad network, the fact is we’ll be back operating as soon as we can and we’re already at 80 percent,” Magliari says.
Anticipating that high-speed rail will be the transportation wave of the future.
“Higher speed passenger rail is indeed the future of all of east Texas,” Hubbard says.
“If you give people welcoming reliable Amtrak service, people will ride the train,” says Magliari.
Since 2011, Amtrak has invested more than five-hundred and fifty million dollars in accessibility upgrades throughout the country.
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