Kansas Legislature Support Amtrak Route Extension

The Kansas legislature has approved a resolution expressing support for extending Amtrak’s Heartland Flyer into Kansas.

The resolution urges the Kansas congressional delegation to support federal funding that would make the extension possible.

That is a reference to an Amtrak proposal for a dedicated federal appropriation to help states pay for new Amtrak corridor service.

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly has proposed setting aside state funding for preliminary work to develop passenger rail services.

The Kansas Department of Transportation’s FORWARD Kansas transportation plan recommends developing the Heartland Flyer extension from Oklahoma City to Newton, Kansas, where it could connect with the Chicago-Los Angeles Southwest Chief.

The resolution adopted by Kansas lawmakers said “numerous studies conducted by universities in Texas and Kansas have determined the economic benefit of Amtrak’s Heartland Flyer passenger rail service and its extension to be at least three to one for every dollar spent.”

The Heartland Flyer, which is funded by the states of Oklahoma and Texas, currently operates once a day between Oklahoma City an Fort Worth, Texas.

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