Amtrak

Nadya Faulx / KMUW/File photo

Two Wichita city council members were in Oklahoma Wednesday to discuss the potential expansion of Amtrak passenger rail service through the Midwest.

Pete Meitzner and James Clendenin visited the Oklahoma State Capitol to testify before the House Transportation Committee. They shared data to support a plan to extend Amtrak’s Heartland Flyer Route from Oklahoma City up to Newton.

Speaking after the meeting, Meitzner said filling the service gap between Oklahoma and Kansas would grow Amtrak ridership on the route, which reaches Fort Worth, Texas.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

An Amtrak train stopped in Wichita today on its way from Oklahoma City to Kansas City.

Adam Moss / Flickr Creative Commons

President Trump's proposed budget includes cuts to the Department of Transportation (DOT), which could mean the loss of Amtrak service for some Kansas cities.

Amtrak To Provide Bus Connections To Two Train Routes

Apr 18, 2016
Adam Moss / Flickr Creative Commons

Amtrak service is returning to Wichita for the first time since 1979. The company has announced new bus routes to both Newton and Oklahoma City.

According to Amtrak, the last time one of their trains had direct service to Wichita was in 1979, when the Lone Star route traveled from Houston to Chicago. Those hoping for train service to come back will have to settle for a bus.

The company announced two bus routes will connect Wichita to the Southwest Chief train, which rolls through Newton, and the Heartland Flyer, which goes through Oklahoma City.

National Transportation Safety Board

A truck that ran into a section of BNSF Railway track, deflecting the track up to 14 inches, may be a cause of the Amtrak derailment that happened near Dodge City early Monday.

  

From the AP:

A truck used to deliver feed to a business where cattle are fattened hit the train track and shifted it at least a foot before an Amtrak train derailed in southwest Kansas and injured at least 32 people, an investigator said.

Sean Sandefur / KMUW

Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board say an agricultural truck collided with railroad tracks near Cimarron, Kan., prior to an Amtrak train derailing in the same area.

Sean Sandefur / KMUW

An Amtrak train carrying more than 140 people derailed near Dodge City early Monday morning. The train was traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago. As KMUW’s Sean Sandefur reports, at least 30 people were injured.

Jack Snell, flickr Creative Commons

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Amtrak routes across Kansas and Missouri could keep running under a tentative agreement reached in a dispute over federally required safety systems, officials said Monday.

The rail passenger service had warned it might stop or reroute its Southwest Chief line through Kansas and to end its River Runner service between Kansas City and St. Louis because of disagreements over who would pay to install safety technology designed to prevent traffic accidents caused by human error. The disagreement centered on lines used to route trains through the Kansas City area.

A group of Emporia residents is trying to raise funds for an impact study in the hopes of bringing Amtrak back to Emporia.

Members of the Emporia Amtrak Task Force have been talking to Amtrak and BNSF railroad staff, as well as Emporia State University and community leaders.

BNSF owns the tracks on which Amtrak's Southwest Chief runs.

New Mexico will study whether to help pay part of the cost of keeping Amtrak's Southwest Chief on its current route.

A state budget allocates $50,000 to the Legislative Council Service to study a proposal by Amtrak for New Mexico, Colorado and Kansas to share the costs of maintaining and improving tracks through their states.

John Yaeger of the Legislative Council Service said legal issues will be considered as well as the costs and economic benefits of the proposal.

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