Amtrak promises more service between San Antonio and other Texas cities if infrastructure plan passes

‘Texas Triangle’ cities among those currently underserved

high-speed commuting train; generic Amtrak image.
high-speed commuting train; generic Amtrak image. (KSAT)

SAN ANTONIO – Amtrak has big plans for expanded service in Texas if President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan moves forward as proposed. Along with funding for road construction and maintenance, the plan also contains $80 billion aimed at expanding rail service.

“In addition, Amtrak has a bold vision to bring energy-efficient, world-class intercity rail service to up to 160 new communities across the nation, as we also invest in our fleet and stations across the U.S.,” said Bill Flynn, Amtrak CEO. “With this federal investment, Amtrak will create jobs and improve equity across cities, regions, and the entire country – and we are ready to deliver.”

In a plan unveiled this week, Amtrak is proposing to add more daily service between San Antonio and Houston, as well as San Antonio and Dallas.

Currently, the only Amtrak service to Houston is through the Sunset Limited, which runs three times a week between New Orleans and Los Angeles.

Amtrak had previously announced that daily service on the Texas Eagle, which runs between San Antonio and Chicago through Austin and Dallas, will resume in May. That follows increased demand and new congressional funding. Service had been cut back during the pandemic.

The overall infrastructure package faces a tough road ahead on Capitol Hill, as both houses of Congress have to sign off on the plan. Advocacy groups said they stand ready to make the plan a reality.

“President Biden’s plan would revolutionize the way Americans travel, finally launching U.S. passengers into the 21st century,” said Jim Mathews, Rail Passengers’ President & CEO. “This plan represents new rail cars, new corridors, new city pairs and more frequencies on the National Network. Our members stand ready to work with the Biden Administration and the entire U.S. Congress in passing this plan into law.”

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About the Author:

Samuel King anchors traffic during GMSA and reports on transportation and mobility issues across the San Antonio region. He joined the KSAT 12 news team in 2020 from KUT in Austin. Samuel was born in Queens, spent time growing up in South Alabama and graduated from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.