||Amtrak's Sunset Limited (Amtrak Trains 1 and 2) is one of America's oldest passenger train routes. Originally developed by the Southern Pacific Railroad in the 19th Centrury, the Sunset has spanned the Sun Belt since before that name became popular, connecting New Orleans, Louisiana, to Los Angeles, California, through southern Arizona, New Mexico, and central Texas. The name dates to 1874, when the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway was known as the Sunset Route.
At the end of the 19th Century, Southern Pacific Lines began publishing a magazine call "Sunset" which extolled the virtues of the West, to entice Americans to travel to California on their passenger trains.
In 1993, Amtrak extended the Sunset Limited to the east, through Mississippi and Alabama to Jacksonville and Orlando, Florida.
When the Southern Pacific Railroad abandoned service from Phoenix to the west, Amtrak was forced to drop service to Arizona's capital city. Phoenix is now the largest city in America without Amtrak service. Union Pacific is double tracking much of that mainline now through Arizona, and local efforts in Tucson and Phoenix for commuter trains is gaining ground. But so far, there is little support in Arizona for reconnecting Phoenix to the Amtrak system. YOU can change that by working with local groups and contacting YOUR representatives to see that Phoenix service is restored.
In 2005, after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, the eastern portion of the route was temporarily halted, while restoraton work on the CSX line was completed. That work was finished in 2006. Amtrak has not yet restored the line, and has not replaced the train with connecting motor coaches (a bus bridge) as they have done so often in other parts of the country.
Effectively, the line has been severed. The route is now two lines, one of which operates west of New Orleans three days a week, and one east of New Orleans, which does not operate at all. Amtrak has neither opened a bus replacement nor -- since the CSX reopened the line in 2006 -- reinstated the service.
Friends of the Sunset Limited urges you to write to your state and federal legislators and the Amtrak Board urging them to restore America's only Coast to Coast passenger rail route.
|Los Angeles, CA (Connect with Coast Starlght, Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin, Southwest Chief)||New Orleans, LA (Connect with City of New Orleans, Crescent)|
|Pomona||Bay St. Louis, MS|
|Maricopa (Phoenix)||Mobile, AL|
|Lordsburg, NM||Crestview (Ft. Walton Beach)|
|Deming||Chipley (Panama City)|
|El Paso, TX (Ciudad Juarez, Mexico)||Tallahassee, FL|
|Alpine (Big Bend National Park)||Madison|
|Del Rio||Jacksonville (Connect with Silver Meteor, Silver Star)|
|San Antonio (connect with Texas Eagle)||Palatka|
|Houston (Galveston)||DeLand (Daytona Beach)|
|Beaumont (Port Arthur)||Winter Park|
|Lake Charles, LA||Orlando, FL (Disneyworld)|
|Lafayette||Tampa, St. Petersburg|
|New Orleans (Connect with City of New Orleans, Crescent)|