Efforts continue to try to get Amtrak to restaff ETX depot

Marshall community still fighting for Amtrak ticket agent

MARSHALL, TX (KSLA) - Some people remain concerned about the lack of a ticket agent at the Amtrak station in Marshall, Texas.

The station's lone ticket agent was let go at the end of June and relocated to Longview.

Amtrak, citing the growth of online ticket sales, eliminated staffing at several train stations throughout the country.

Protestors have raised concerns about how the elderly and disabled will navigate the platform and whether ticket sales will be impacted with no in-person staff in Marshall.

Efforts to reverse Amtrak's decision continue.

"Just because June 29th came and has gone by and that the customer service representative was eliminated, that position was eliminated in Marshall, that doesn't mean that we won't keep advocating that that's important." Marshall Depot board member Christina Anderson said.

"Just as we'll continue to advocate that the national network is so important, that the Texas Eagle is important, that this is important to our rural community and connecting those mega centers."

Ohio Sens. Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman have added an amendment to a Senate appropriations bill under consideration Wednesday that would require Amtrak to staff any station that has at least 25 passengers per day. That would include 11 stations where staffers have been cut, including the one in Marshall.

KSLA News 12 is working to learn the status of that amendment.

A separate amendment aimed at keeping Amtrak service between Kansas and New Mexico passed in the Senate. Anderson says that's important because it shows support for the national rail network.

"What we are so encouraged by, we are seeing such broad support not just in our own community, our own ArkLaTex region, but across the United States that people are saying Amtrak is so important to us, the long-distance trains are so important to us, the national network is important to us."

Meantime, a ticket kiosk is headed to Marshall but isn't there yet.

For now, you should contact Amtrak's ticket station at 905 Pacific Ave. in Longview, Texas, by calling (800) 872-7245 if you want to purchase an Amtrak ticket for Marshall.

Copyright 2018 KSLA. All rights reserved.