Posts Tagged ‘Missouri River Runner’

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.

Flooding Cancels Missouri River Runners

May 4, 2017

Flooding in Missouri has prompted Amtrak to substitute buses for the Missouri River Runner service between St. Louis and Kansas City.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said the twice-daily roundtrips Runners are expected to be sidelined until Saturday due to flooding that has closed the Union Pacific route used by the trains.

Amtrak is chartering buses to replace the canceled trains but service may be unavailable to some cities due to local road closures and/or bus availability.

The buses are also unable to fully match the Amtrak schedules, Amtrak said in the advisory.

It was the second time this week that flooding in Missouri has disrupted Amtrak service. The Texas Eagle has been forced to detour between St. Louis and Poplar Bluff due to flooding along it regular route.

Union Pacific said in a service advisory that the Meramec River near St. Louis is rising rapidly, leading to additional flooding and cutting off rail access from St. Louis to Jefferson City, Missouri. Several areas of track are currently underwater, with water levels continuing to rise as additional rain is forecast for Wednesday and Thursday.

“Service remains suspended between St. Louis and Poplar Bluff, Missouri; and Mt. Vernon and Chester, Illinois. Work to repair damage caused by washouts and mudslides along these areas of track continues where it is safe to do so,” UP said in its advisory.

Missouri River Runner Ridership up in 2017

April 26, 2017

Ridership aboard Amtrak’s Missouri River Runner trains increased 1 percent in the first quarter of 2017.

“For January through March, we were up nearly 1 percent from this time last year,” said Kristi Jamison, Missouri Department of Transportation railroad operations manager. “In January, we were up 10 percent, but that went down in February and March.”

Boardings in Jefferson City fell by 0.5 percent during the period.

“I still believe we’re being affected by low gas prices, and we’re still seeing fewer riders coming into St. Louis because of work on a high-speed rail service to Chicago,” Jamison said. “The infrastructure on that should be done by the end of this year, so we’ll see how we rebound from there.”

Jamison said 30 percent of River Runner passengers make connections with other Amtrak trains in St. Louis or Kansas City.

“So when you have delays like what we’ve seen in construction of the high-speed rail service in Illinois, that drops the ridership level,” she said.

The on-time performance of the Missouri River Runners was 90 percent for the first quarter, with some delays caused by freight traffic congestion.

“We also benefited from a mild winter, which decreases delays caused by cold weather and its effects on the tracks,” Jamison said.

MoDOT does not expect any changes in the service level regardless of how much funding the Missouri legislature allots for the service.

In 2017, the service was initially allotted $9.6 million, but Gov. Eric Greitens withheld $500,000 from that amount, making the intercity rail passenger budget $9.1 million.

MoDOT requested $14.1 million for the Missouri River Runners for fiscal year 2018, but Greitens has recommended approving $9.1 million. The House approved that amount but the Senate has not yet acted on the budget.

“We’re not anticipating any changes to our service due to the level of state funding we’re getting,” Jamison said.

In the meantime, Amtrak and MoDOT have announced two fare promotions that will run through the end of August.

They include mid-week fare sales with a 25 percent discount when traveling Tuesday through Thursday and a Kids Ride Free sale for weekend travel Friday through Sunday for children ages 2-12 when accompanied by a full-fare paid adult.

Reservations are required at least one day in advance of travel. The Missouri River Runners operate twice a day between St. Louis and Kansas City with intermediate stops at Kirkwood, Washington, Hermann, Jefferson City, Sedalia, Warrensburg, Lee’s Summit and Independence.

Fund Raising Campaign to Begin in February for Overhaul of Amtrak Station in Kirkwood, Missouri

December 29, 2016

The Kirkwood Train Foundation will launch in February a $3 million fund-raising campaign to pay for rehabilitating the Missouri city’s Amtrak station.

Amtrak Missouri River RunnerBuilt in 1893, the structure served Missouri Pacific passenger trains for decades before Amtrak arrived on May 1, 1971. Officials believe the station was last renovated in the 1940s.

“It is the main symbol of the city of Kirkwood,” said Art McDonnell, foundation member and former mayor in an interview with St. Louis Public Radio.

Among the work that will be done is replacing the roof and tuckpointing the exterior.

The former baggage room will house modern and expanded restrooms.  Some window and stone restoration work will also be done.

The depot was in danger of closing more than a decade ago, but the city purchased it.

Since 2003, volunteers have overseen the station creating a model operation that has been emulated in other cities served by Amtrak.

A suburb of St. Louis, Kirkwood has 27,000 residents and is served by the St. Louis-Kansas City Missouri River Runners.

In Amtrak’s early years, Kirkwood was a stop for the New York-Kansas City National Limited. After that train was discontinued on Oct. 1, 1979, the state of Missouri began helping fund Amtrak service.

Until the Missouri River Runner service came about, Kirkwood was on the routes of the Chicago-Kansas City Ann Rutledge and the Kansas City-New Orleans River Cities.

Today, Kirkwood is the third busiest Amtrak station in Missouri. This month, the train station tied for first place in a 2016 Amtrak customer satisfaction survey.