U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced a tentative agreement between Amtrak and the Collis P. Huntington Society to re-establish New River Train service and begin selling tickets for the October event of Railroad Days.
“I’m so glad to announce that Amtrak and Collis P. Huntington Society have reached a general agreement on pricing that will allow them to reestablish service for the New River Train. I understand that they will need to continue further discussions to work out some of the logistics, but I am pleased with the progress they have made so far. Amtrak understands the negative impact its decision could have on our economy and local non-profits, while Collis P. Huntington has been a tremendous partner to Amtrak and has a stellar record with no operational issues or citations. Losing the New River Train would take an estimated $5 million out of West Virginia’s economy. So I was happy to bring both parties to the table and glad we could work out an agreement that works for everyone,” Senator Manchin said.
On April 17, Manchin personally met with Amtrak and Collis P. Huntington officials to find a way forward in order to reestablish service for the New River Train. Since Amtrak’s announcement that it would discontinue service for the New River Train, Manchin has been working with both sides to help find a pathway forward.
On April 3, Senator Manchin spoke with Richard Anderson, CEO of Amtrak, regarding the company’s decision to no longer accept private and charter trains and that same week he formally asked for information on the appeals process. And last week, Senator Manchin questioned U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao on Amtrak’s decision to end private and charter trains. He also requested for Amtrak to meet with representatives from the Collis P. Huntington Railroad Historical Society, which led to a meeting at Amtrak’s headquarters between Amtrak representatives and Collis P. Huntington’s leadership and local officials on April 17. Thursday, he received a formal reply from CEO Richard Anderson, who assured him that he will do all that he can to develop a solution that will enable the New River Train to continue.
The Collis P. Huntington Railroad Historical Society, a 59-year old non-profit organization, operates private railroad cars through Amtrak – including the New River Train from Huntington to Hinton for the annual Railroad Days celebration.