Discontinuance of Davis, CA as stop
For Amtrak Coast Starlight, trains 11 and 14
Update, 08/15/2001: TrainWeb has learned that Amtrak West President
Gil Mallery just today informed Davis Mayor Ken Wagstaff that, for the time
being, the Coast Starlight will continue to stop in Davis, California. It is
not clear if the reprieval is permanent, but Davis will remain a stop for trains
11 and 14 for the time being. Some credit can be given to the rail advocates of
the Train Riders Association of California and the Rail Passenger Association
of California, who fought briefly but intensely to save Davis as a Coast
Starlight stop. If there are any further changes to the status of Davis, we will
be sure to post them here.
Davis will keep Coast Starlight - from the Davis Enterprise
Amtrak has announced that, as of September 29, 2001, the Coast Starlight train,
which travels between Los Angeles and Seattle, will no longer call at the
City of Davis. Below is an open letter to those concerned from Alan Miller,
a rail advocate from Davis.
Rail Supporters and Davisites who care about transportation:
Amtrak will be DROPPING Davis as a stop on #11 and #14, the Coast Starlight,
on September 29. That is just days from now! I confirmed this with the
station agent, who was NOT TOLD of the change, but said the computer showed
this to be true. The Starlight was the first Amtrak train to stop in Davis,
and has stopped in Davis FOR OVER THIRTY YEARS. Davis is the ONLY stop to be
dropped. This change is suspiciously being made with little notice and
months before the next timetable change.
One of the Starlight's major markets is COLLEGE STUDENTS. The coast is a
COLLEGE CORRIDOR. Students from Seattle, Portland, Eugene, Corvallis, Chico,
Sacramento, DAVIS, San Francisco/Oakland, San Jose, San Luis Obispo, Santa
Barbara, Los Angeles and San Diego make major use of this train to visit
friends at other schools and to travel to and from home. Amtrak may think
people will travel 30 miles round trip to Sacramento at 6am or midnight to
BACKTRACK to their train. They will NOT, as the inconvenience of
backtracking plus paid parking will discourage this AND MOST STUDENTS DON'T
A student from San Luis Obispo, for example, would have to stay overnight in
a hotel in the Bay Area to reach Davis, as all Capitols have left. There is
no transportation from Sacramento to Davis after 8:15pm. Alternatively, a
friend could pick them up in Sacramento after midnight, BACKTRACKING to Davis
and adding an hour to a trip that already takes several hours longer than
driving, and that's just if the train is on time (and it usually is 1-2 hours
late). A Davis student going north would have to leave Davis 2 1/2 HOURS IN
ADVANCE just to sit in the Sacramento depot!
This may make SOME sense in the future when there are hourly Capitols and one
runs NB/EB ahead and behind each Starlight and transportation is guaranteed
if the connection is missed. But that is several years in the future. This
is a horribly premature move!
A few years ago our former mayor, Julie Partansky, successfully led a fight
stave off a similar attempt to drop Davis from trains #5 and #6. Our new
mayor, Ken Wagstaff, has made statements which show he may be a rail
supporter. I would like to try to get the City Council to unanimously
support a resolution telling Amtrak that the Starlight MUST continue to stop
in Davis, pointing out the great investment the city has made in the station
which was just recently completed.
PLEASE FORWARD THIS to everyone you can think of who may be able to help.
I will not mince my words: I am waging WAR on Amtrak to stop this. Any
suggestions would be appreciated. Such as how, when and where I could meet
with congressman Doug Ose, what other politicians may be able to help, or
politicians' email addresses or phone numbers. Unfortunately, I will be out
of town most of next week, the prime time to wage this war. If anyone else
could help flyer the station, that would help greatly.
Thanks in advance for any suggestions or aid in fighting this,
Alan C. Miller, Davis