Those first schedules after Amtrak start-up

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Twin Star Rocket

Service Attendant
Oct 14, 2012
In addition to a nationwide timetable, there were individual schedules published by the
respective carriers acting under contract. Here are examples of one for Southern Pacific
acting as a contract carrier.


  • Amtrak SP timetable 1971.jpg
    Amtrak SP timetable 1971.jpg
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  • Amtrak SP timetable 1971 inside.jpg
    Amtrak SP timetable 1971 inside.jpg
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Also the very early years, the train were Amtrak, "in name only"...everything to do with their operation was simply a continuation of their former railroad's operation...the equipment, the operating as well as on board service employees...even reservation's and ticketing. In fact, even the train numbers so as the SP operated TT's showed...there were more than one train with the "same" numbers, such as the Sunset and the Denver Zephyr carring number 1, at the same time. The only Amtrak employees were at national headquarter's, and a few "Passenger Service Representatives assigned to ride trains. That all changed gradually, thru the years, as the new company matured, and assumed more and more responsibility. The biggest change was in 1976, when Amtrak acquired the NEC, and became a "real railroad"...
The history of Amtrak is a fascinating is fairly well documented, but no single definitive book that I am aware of...
The history of Amtrak is a fascinating is fairly well documented, but no single definitive book that I am aware of...
Buried in a box somewhere I have Mike Schafer's Amtrak book from several years ago, which is pretty good up to a point (no Acela, etc.). His "American Streamliners" and "The American Passenger Train" books provide some background detail as well, but otherwise you're right - not all in one place. Of course there's always those old copies of Passenger Train Journal...
Those mentioned look at Amtrak more from an "enthusiast's" point of view...not a scholarly type of detailed business history. But, yes, you can glean a lot of good information from them...
"Scholarly" and "definitive" would be overbids, but worthy of mention in this context are Frank Wilner, 1994, "The Amtrak Story", and Harold Edmonson, 1972, "Journey to Amtrak: the year history rode the passenger train." The latter has many photos of last runs of pre-Amtrak trains and first runs of Amtrak trains. The former is all words and tables, with an overview of the political debate behind the Railpax legislation.