Wait….. Amarillo Could Have Had a Passenger Train?
Having never been on a train ride in my life, the idea to pay a fee and be able to hop on a train to wherever that train leads is such as a foreign one. I mean seriously the trains we have in Amarillo you can’t even get near. In the early 2000s however, having a commercial railway became a vague possibility for Amarillo.
Between 2000 and 2001, the Texas Association of Rail Passengers lobbied local governments in the Panhandle to support Amtrak rail service which would connect Fort Worth and Denver through Amarillo. The proposed project was known as the Caprock Chief and garnered discussion among Amtrak officials. No official commitments were made toward building this railway though.
In early 2002, both Amarillo and Lubbock began pushing for the Chief to be made. Amarillo’s City Commission members voted in favor of supporting the rail expansion and Lubbock'ss chamber of commerce voiced its support for it. Although the possibility for an Amtrak that would make a stop in Amarillo received much vocal support from the Panhandle community, definite plans for a railway were never made. In 2004 the president of the TARP expressed that the chances of the railway being made were small. In 2013 however, talk about the railway being made came back to public attention when Amtrak considered rerouting the southwest chief through Amarillo, but no definite statements have been made yet.
Sadly Amarillo’s chances of having commercial transportation through railways may be small, but considering our growth within the past 18 years it's not impossible that propositions of connecting Amarillo to Dallas and Fort Worth through Amtrack could gain traction in the future. Who knows