Amtrak plans to keep ‘vital’ route serving Mohave County running for another year
The train route that runs through Mohave County and has stops in Kingman and Needles will continue to stay in operation for at least another year.
Amtrak says the Southwest Chief train route, which connects Chicago to Los Angeles, will drop plans of replacing parts of the service with buses. The national rail carrier had considered suspending service between Dodge City, Kansas and Albuquerque, New Mexico as it seeks to repair a 219-mile section of track in Colorado and New Mexico.
Scot Naparstek, Amtrak’s executive vice president and chief operation officer, told a Senate committee last week that it is committed to keeping the train going at least through September 2019.
According to Needles, nearly 9,200 riders from Havasu, Bullhead City, Laughlin, Kingman and the Fort Mohave Indian Reservation boarded the train from its El Garces Amtrak station last year. Ridership was up more than 1,100 from 2016.
The town says ridership represents 6 percent of the regional population.
In a March 28, letter to Amtrak, the city stressed the importance of keeping its station open because it is a “vital” economic engine and its profitability needs to be judged using that yardstick.
Associated Press contributed to this article.