It’s gratifying to know that Amtrak officials are willing to step up and assist local efforts to enhance facilities and services for rail travelers.
One of the organizers of Lawrence’s Depot Redux group indicated in a recent letter to the Journal-World’s Public Forum that “Amtrak is committed to maintaining and upgrading services to those communities who, in turn, show support for passenger rail.” In Lawrence, that support most recently came in the form of Amtrak funding for two caretakers to maintain and open the Lawrence Amtrak depot for trains that arrive at 12:30 a.m. and 5:45 a.m. daily.
Amtrak would have been unlikely to fund the positions without Depot Redux, which supervises the caretakers, but having even limited paid staffing should be a boon for the depot and the passengers it serves. The staffing will be especially important if the Southwest Chief, which passes through Lawrence, links to expanded rail options, as is currently being studied.
The ability of the local Depot Redux and Amtrak to work cooperatively bodes well for the future of the Lawrence depot.