Amtrak service cutbacks include Texas Eagle

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The Amtrak passenger train that makes twice-daily stops in Mineola is among those targeted for a cutback in service to three days a week.

The Texas Eagle, which runs through Wood County with a morning westbound stop and an afternoon eastbound stop, is among the long distance routes that Amtrak is targeting for cutbacks. It originates in Chicago and San Antonio.

The passenger rail service has experienced devastating losses in passengers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Estimates are a decline in passengers of up to 95% since the country began its efforts to slow the spread of the virus in mid-March. It has rebounded to 30% of former levels.

The slow down in business came just as Amtrak was on course to see record ridership.

The cuts are targeted for Oct. 1 and expected to continue through the fiscal year 2021, with service to be resumed should demand increase.

Amtrak has also sought a $1.5 billion federal bail out and announced plans to cut up to 20% of its work force, including employee buyouts.

It has already received a $1 billion bail out due to COVID-19.