Empire Builder returning to daily service across northern Montana May 23

Phil Drake

Starting May 23, the Empire Builder passenger train that rolls through northern Montana will return to daily service, Amtrak officials said.

Amtrak’s summer schedule is rolling back reductions made in January due to what the company described as COVID-19-driven workforce shortages.

Daily service will be restored not only for the Empire Builder, but for the California Zephyr, Lake Shore Limited and Southwest Chief as well.

Amtrak officials said the expanded frequencies and service restoration were made possible by the company’s existing workforce and recruitment efforts, which have resulted in more than 1,500 new employees this year. Officials said Wednesday the train had been running five days a week.

“Thanks to our dedicated existing employees and newly-hired staff, we are thrilled to expand our scheduled service just in time to meet customers’ rising demand for travel this summer,” Stephen Gardner, CEO at Amtrak, said in a May 9 news release. “We are recruiting and training additional employees nationwide to accelerate our recovery from the pandemic and to support service growth. There’s never been a better time to come work at Amtrak.”

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