West Virginia officials: Amtrak committed to New River Train

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WASHINGTON – West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice and U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins have a commitment from Amtrak to work to preserve the New River Train for its 52nd running this fall.

Rep. Jenkins and Mike Hall, the governor’s chief of staff, spoke with Amtrak President and CEO Richard Anderson Wednesday afternoon to discuss the importance of the 300-mile passenger excursion that runs the third and fourth weekends of October between the West Virginia towns of Huntington and Hinton.

“I am very encouraged after our call with Richard Anderson that we have a commitment to resolving issues with the New River Train,” Rep. Jenkins says.

The Congressman, whose district represents much of the New River Train’s route from Huntington and into south central West Virginia, says Amtrak is willing to “make some limited exemptions to its ban on charter trains,” noting that he feels confident the New River Train will be granted this exemption.

“We are happy with the response from Amtrak for continuing our 51-year tradition. We have worked with Amtrak for over 20 years and hope to continue working with them to keep this tradition alive,” New River Train representative Joe Rosenthal says.

Amtrak has yet to provide more details on its new stance on special trains and charter moves and has not issued criteria for its exemptions.

Following Amtrak’s policy change issued on March 28, the New River Train halted all ticket sales amid its most busy marketing season. Tickets go on sale in January and are usually sold out by early August.
The 2015 New River Train eases across the New River at Hawks Nest, W.Va.
Chase Gunnoe
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