Please heed this message. We can’t let this happen. Are you aware that
this fabled old passenger train which started service in 1893 by the
Southern Pacific Railroad to service the cities along the route from Los
Angeles to New Orleans may be coming to an end.

That is because the PR11A Legislation enacted in 2008 mandates that
Amtrak must develop an improvement plan by 2013 for its worst performing
long distance trains.

We know full well that the Sunset Limited is the worst performing long
distance train. We also know that the primary reason for this worst
performing train is that this train has only a three day a week
schedule. Amtrak’s internal study concluded that if this were a daily
train it would probably be one of the top performing trains.

Important: We also know that if the Sunset Limited changed its
departure from Los Angeles to Fullerton/Riverside as opposed to the
current Pomona/Ontario route it would realize an immediate financial
benefit. This same route change (Fullerton/Riverside) was encouraged by
the Riverside County California Transportation Commission.

The Sunset Limited must be a daily train in order to survive. This
requires mediation with the Union Pacific Railroad which is apparently
demanding 760 million dollars in order to run this train four additional
days a week.

How do we assist in this mediation and why? The “why” answer is
because: This train is a financial benefit to the cities it serves –
It provides a needed transportation system to a badly under-served
Southwestern part of our country – It is the most fuel efficient way to
travel – It helps to lessen our dependence on foreign oil and – Don’t
forget the cost of gas.

The Mediation Process is vital and crucial. To assist in this mediation
process we are planning an outreach to our politicians, decision makers,
rail advocates and members of the business community along the route of
the Sunset Limited, to assist in asking the Secretary of Transportation
to intervene on behalf of both Amtrak and the Union Pacific Railroad.

We plan to continue providing up dates that will be posted at regular
intervals and will include our partners in this project. We welcome
input by any interested parties. It is time for this rail travel to
become a definite reality.

Robert Manning
President, Southwest Rail Passenger Association

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