Amtrak

Passenger trains will keep rolling through rural communities in Kansas, for now. But Amtrak still hasn’t committed to operating the long-distance routes that connect small towns to larger cities long-term.

Earlier this year, Congress agreed to an additional $50 million to keep the Southwest Chief, which travels from Chicago to Los Angeles with stops in several small Kansas cities, running through September.

Wikimedia Commons

Long-running frustration about Amtrak’s willingness to keep a rail passenger line running through remote parts of the country has politicians threatening to block new directors to the agency.

A handful of U.S. senators demanded specifics by this week about how Amtrak plans to spend an added $50 million to keep the Southwest Chief line running from Chicago, through Kansas, to Los Angeles.

NPS.gov

The Texas Department of Transportation is seeking input from Texans on how to update the state’s railways.

The Texas Rail Plan includes a list of current and future rail projects, and the plan must be updated every four years. State law requires that authorities seek the opinions of the state’s citizens before updating the rail plan.

Kansas City Star

Amtrak’s Southwest Chief, which stops at six cities in Kansas, posted a record year with more than 367,000 passengers on its route from Chicago to Los Angeles. The Kansas City Star reports that the Jayhawk state accounted for almost 50,000 of those passengers, a slight increase over last year. Nationwide, Amtrak carried almost 31 million passengers in 2015.

Author Urges Westerners to Get out of Their Cars

Sep 22, 2015
AP photo

For over half a century travel in the American West has been defined by the automobile. But one author decided to find out what it would mean to travel in the West without a car.

Amtrak service in Kansas could be cut

Jul 6, 2015

Kansas could effectively lose Amtrak service if one section of the track in Kansas City isn't updated. The piece is owned by the Kansas City Terminal. Amtrak has a federal mandate to install positive train control across its tracks by December of 2015. The line runs daily between Chicago and Los Angeles, serves 33 cities, six in Kansas. They are Dodge City, Garden City, Hutchinson, Newton, Topeka, and Lawrence.

Southwest Chief service safe in Colorado and Kansas

Sep 11, 2014
santafenewmexican.com

Amtrak says it will continue Southwest Chief service through parts of Kansas and Colorado for two more decades according to a recent article from the Santa Fe New Mexican. 

Mark Holm / nytimes.com

Colorado, Kansas, and New Mexico have until the end of the year to improve the railroad track or lose the Southwest Chief passenger rail line.  According to The New York Times Amtrak has asked the three states to put up $40 million over the next 20 years to help pay for track upgrades and maintenance to keep the track viable.  Unless all three states pitch in, Amtrak says it will potentially drop nine small-town stations in favor of existing track in Texas and Oklahoma. 

SW Kansas Trio Work to Save Current Route

Sep 9, 2013
amtrak.com

The Southwest Chief runs from Chicago and Los Angeles, with a route through Kansas, Colorado, and New Mexico.  Poor track conditions have caused the Southwest Chief to reduce speeds through Kansas reported the Dodge City Globe