Amtrak announced this morning that passenger rail service on its Amtrak Texas Eagle will begin in Hope on April 4 with the arrival of the westbound Train 21.
“The westbound Texas Eagle, Train 21, is scheduled to depart Hope at 5:09 every morning, with arrivals that morning in Dallas, that afternoon in Fort Worth and that evening in Austin and San Antonio,” Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said in a mid-morning announcement. “The eastbound Texas Eagle, Train 22, is scheduled to depart Hope at 9:18 every evening, with arrivals in Little Rock that night, St. Louis the following morning and Chicago that afternoon.”
Magliari said connections from that schedule can be made in Fort Worth, San Antonio, St. Louis and Chicago to Oklahoma City, Kansas City, and more than 500 other locations in the Amtrak network.
Ticket sales were expected to commence on Friday, he said.
“Ticketing and reservations can be done using Amtrak eTicketing and boarding documents can be self-printed, as the Hope station is unstaffed,” Magliari. “Passengers using a smartphone or other mobile device can present the eTicket to the conductor by opening a document in their e-mail.”
Sample fares for adult passengers, each way, include:
Hope to Dallas - $39
Hope to Fort Worth - $39
Hope to Austin - $65
Hope to San Antonio - $73
Hope to Oklahoma City (with transfer in Fort Worth) - $67
Hope to Little Rock - $18
Hope to St. Louis - $66
Hope to Springfield, Ill. - $77
Hope to Chicago - $108
Hope to Kansas City (with transfer in St. Louis) $95
The announcement this morning was met with satisfaction and relief by City officials.
“I think we are all very happy,” Hope City Manager Catherine Cook said.
Cook announced Tuesday that a May 18 dedication has been set for the Amtrak passenger platform.
Hope Mayor Dennis Ramsey was relieved.
“They say good things come to those who wait; and, we waited 20 years,” Ramsey quipped. “It's been a long time coming, and a few people have really persevered to make this happen, including Catherine, Paul Henley, Dolly Henley and John Watkins.”
Neither Paul nor Dolly Henley were available for comment at press time.