Friday, December 5, 2008

Kansas to Study Amtrak Route Feasability

The Kansas Department of Transportation and Amtrak have reached a consensus on the scope and objectives of a $200,000 study to investigate the feasibility of starting a state-sponsored Amtrak line between Kansas City, MO, and Fort Worth, TX, the Topeka Capital-Journal reports. This puts Kansas further along than several other states considering new passenger rail routes, according to Amtrak spokesman Mark Magliari.

The study is expected to be completed next year, but don't look for a new train until the Kansas legislature has its say. The route, in all likelihood, would be the same one used by the Santa Fe Railroad's Texas Chief and its successor, Amtrak's Lone Star, which was discontinued in 1979.

The Heartland Flyer, a train supported by the state of Oklahoma, already covers the southernmost part of the route, between Oklahoma City and Fort Worth. Kansas officials say a daylight run is one of the options they are considering, although it is not yet known whether the new service would be an extension of the Heartland Flyer. Amtrak's only current service in Kansas, the Southwest Chief, which runs from Chicago to Los Angeles, crosses the state during the night.

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