Posts Tagged ‘Missouri River Runner’

Missouri River Runner Service to Increase

June 4, 2021

The State of Missouri of Missouri will use pandemic relief funding to help pay for restoration of a second Missouri River Runner roundtrip between St. Louis and Kansas City.

The additional service will begin on July 19 and bring the corridor up to pre-COVID-19 pandemic service levels.

State officials said the second roundtrip will operation for the remainder of 2021.

“We appreciate the General Assembly and Gov. [Mike] Parson providing necessary resources for the Amtrak Missouri River Runner service in the state’s budget as well as the additional COVID relief funds enabling us to restore this important transportation service to Missourians,” Missouri Department of Transportation Director Patrick McKenna said in a statement.

McKenna said his agency will review in the fall whether the federal transportation budget will enable the state to continue to support two daily round-trip service.

McKenna said his agency will review in the fall whether the federal transportation budget will enable the state to continue to support two daily round-trip service.

The second roundtrip was suspended in March 2020. Even before that had occurred, Missouri legislators had been debating whether to cut the state’s Amtrak funding to support just a single daily roundtrip.

A provision in the state budget bill mandating single daily ser ice was removed by the Missouri Senate so that MoDOT and Amtrak could begin discussions about a restoration of double daily service.

Grant Awarded for Kirkwood Station Renovation

April 15, 2021

A $1.5 million grant has been made for renovations of the Amtrak station in Kirkwood, Missouri.

The funding came from the East-West Gateway Council of Governments. The grant will enable the City of Kirkwood and the Historic Kirkwood Train Station Foundation to renovate the former Missouri Pacific depot.

Work in the $4.6 million project will include a new roof, heating and cooling system, ADA-compliant restrooms, and a covered station platform.

Thus far about $2.3 million has been raised for the project. The foundation continues to raise money on a  GoFundMe page. Construction is expected to begin in 2024.

Kirkwood, a suburb of St. Louis, is served by the St. Louis-Kansas City Missouri River Runners

Missouri Legislative Committee Cuts Funding For Amtrak Service

April 1, 2021

A Missouri legislative committee has approved reducing the state’s funding of Amtrak service between St. Louis and Kansas City.

The action by the Missouri House of Representatives’ Budget Committee approved $9.85 million to support one daily roundtrip. Two daily roundtrips would cost at least $12.65 million.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began last spring service on the route has been one daily roundtrip.

Even before the pandemic, some Missouri lawmakers had been pushing to cut funding to support just one roundtrip a day.

Missouri Department of Transportation officials have said the route carried more than 170,000 passengers a year before the pandemic.

Ridership began falling in 2019 after service was suspended due to flooding.

Financial problems have long shadowed the service, known as the Missouri River Runner.

In 2017, former Gov. Eric Greitens cut $500,000 in funding for the service and since 2010 the state has failed to pay Amtrak its share of the bill and owes an estimated $3 million.

There has been some discussion about not operating the trains on Mondays and Tuesdays so that service could be two roundtrips on weekends.

A MoDOT economic impact study released recently found the trains annually generate more than $208 million in economic activity statewide and create 1,250 jobs.

The study said passengers spend an estimated $12.8 million in hotels and an additional $25.3 million in food and sightseeing costs each year.

This economic activity contributes to an estimated $11 million in federal, state and local tax revenue, according to the study.

More than half (56 percent) of passengers answering a survey said they used Amtrak as a way to visit friends or family.

Thirteen percent of passengers said they were traveling for recreation or leisure travel, and 11 percent say they were using the trains for work or business-related travel.

Other reasons given included vacations (8 percent), personal or family events (6 percent), traveling to or from college or school (5 percent) and shopping, 1 percent.

Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said Amtrak plans to introduce new Venture coaches to the St. Louis-Kansas City corridor later this year.

He said that if service falls to one daily roundtrip it would six to 12 weeks to work out the logistics of increased service if the state were to decide to fund two daily roundtrips.

River Runners Suspension Extended to June 1

May 30, 2019

The cancellation of Missouri River Runner service between St. Louis and Kansas City has been extended through June 2.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said flooding on the Union Pacific network has diverted some freight traffic to the route used by the River Runners.

In the interim, Amtrak passengers ticketed for trains 311, 313, 314 and 316 are riding chartered buses that are serving all stations.

Amtrak said it and the Missouri Department of Transportation, which funds the trains, are continuing to monitor the situation on a daily basis.

Passengers were urged to check their train’s status at Amtrak.com or on the Amtrak smart phone app.

The buses are adhering as close to the train schedules as possible, but delays may occur.

Missouri River Runners Remain Suspended

May 28, 2019

Passengers booked aboard Amtrak’s Missouri River Runner trains between St. Louis and Kansas City will continue to ride chartered buses through at least Wednesday (May 29).

Amtrak said in a service advisory that host railroad Union Pacific continues to divert freight trains to the route used by the River Runners.

Nos. 311, 313, 314 and 316 had been suspended last week after flooding occurred near Kansas City.

Originally, the suspension of the River Runners was to last through Saturday, but was extended.

Amtrak said the substitute buses will operate as close as possible to the train schedules and will pick up and drop off passengers at all stations served by the train.

Flooding Disrupts Amtrak Service in Missouri

May 25, 2019

Flooding has again disrupted Amtrak operations in Missouri.

The Missouri River Runner trains between St. Louis and Kansas City, and the Southwest Chief between Kansas City and Hutchinson, Kansas, were suspended as a result.

A service advisory posted on the Amtrak website on Friday said that Missouri River Runner passengers would be placed on chartered buses through today (May 25) because host railroad Union Pacific has diverted freight train traffic on the route used by Amtrak Nos. 311, 313, 314 and 316.

Amtrak said the buses will stop at all stations as close to the train schedules as possible, but delays are to be expected.

The suspensions are in effect through Thursday, May 23.

The Missouri River Runner service has been suspended because of increased freight traffic caused by diversion of Union Pacific traffic. The Southwest Chief suspension reflects a temporary track closure on the train’s BNSF Railway route. Chartered buses will substitute for rail service on both routes during the suspension.

The Southwest Chief has been restored to its normal operation in eastern Kansas and the Kansas City region.

Today’s No. 4 arrived in Kansas City 35 minutes late while No. 3 arrived in KC 2 hours, 15 minutes late. The lateness of No. 3 has ballooned to more than three hours by the time it reached Topeka, Kansas.

Missouri Trains Sidelined Through March 31

March 28, 2019

The suspension of Missouri River Runner service between St. Louis and Kansas City has been extended through March 31.

Passengers traveling between those cities and to and from intermediate stations will continue to ride chartered buses.

The Union Pacific route used by Amtrak between Missouri’s two largest cities has seen a surge of freight traffic after other UP routes were closed by flooding in the Midwest.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said the charter buses will stop at all Amtrak stations serviced by the River Runners and operate as close to the train schedules as possible,

However, Amtrak said passengers should expect some delays to occur.

Missouri Trains Suspended Through March 28

March 23, 2019

In a service advisory posted on Friday, Amtrak said Missouri River Runner service between St. Louis and Kansas City will remained suspended through March 28.

Passengers traveling between the two cities and to intermediate stations are being transported in the interim by chartered buses.

Amtrak said the service suspension was due to Increased rail traffic caused by freight trains being diverted to the Union Pacific route between St. Louis and Kansas City.

“The additional freight train volume is due to historic flooding in the Central U.S. Chartered buses will cover the Amtrak route and stop at all stations as close to the train schedules as possible, but delays are to be expected,” Amtrak said in the advisory.

Amtrak normally operates two roundtrips a day between St. Louis and Kansas City.

Flooding Disrupts Amtrak’s Missouri Trains

March 22, 2019

Flooding in Missouri and Iowa has prompted Amtrak to continue a service suspension of its Missouri River Runner trains between St. Louis and Kansas City.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said it will provide chartered buses service as alternative transportation through Sunday, March 24.

Amtrak said the route used by the River Runners has seen an increase in freight traffic due to trains being diverted to the because of the flooding.

The service advisory said the additional freight train volume was prompted by historic flooding in the Central United States.

Although the chartered buses will cover the Amtrak route and stop at all stations as close to the train schedules as possible, delays are to be expected, Amtrak said in the service advisory.

Operations of Amtrak’s Southwest Chief, which also crosses Missouri, have not been affected by the flooding.

Festival Affects Amtrak Access in Lee’s Summit

June 1, 2018

A downtown festival in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, that begins today (June 1) will affect access to the Amtrak station due to multiple road closures.

Amtrak long-term parking on Market and SE Main Streets will be closed but long-term parking will be available at the City Hall Parking Garage at 2nd and Green Streets.

An Amtrak drop-off zone will be located in front of Security Bank of KC at 2nd and SW Main Streets.

Lee’s Summit is served by Amtrak’s Missouri River Runner trains.