Posts Tagged ‘Missouri River Runners’

Jefferson City Waiting Room Temporarily Closed

October 7, 2019

The waiting room of the Amtrak station in Jefferson City, Missouri, has been temporarily closed.

Amtrak’s Missouri River Runner trains will continue to stop at the station platforms to board and discharge passengers.

The closure does not affect the station platforms.

During the closure Amtrak said passengers will not have access to the inside of the station or restrooms.

City volunteers will be on site to help with questions or directions during scheduled train times.

Amtrak did not explain in its service advisory why the waiting room is closed or how long the closure will last.

Buses to Replace Missouri Trains on Sept. 9

September 7, 2019

Union Pacific track work will result in Missouri River Runner passengers riding the bus on Sept. 9 between Hermann, Missouri, and Kansas City.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said Trains 311 and 313 will operate from St. Louis to Herman with Buses 3111 and 3113 continuing on to the missed station stops of Jefferson City, Sedalia, Warrensburg, Lee’s Summit and Independence.

The service advisory said the buses may operate later than the train schedules.

Trains 314 and 316 will originate in Hermann with passengers riding Buses 3314 and 3116 from Kansas City and making the intermediate stops at Independence, Lee’s Summit, Warrensburg, Sedalia and Jefferson City.

The buses will depart earlier from Kansas City, but Amtrak did not say how early.

Flooding Took Toll on River Runners Ridership

July 5, 2019

The flooding that led to Amtrak’s Missouri River Runner trains being canceled in spring and early summer contributed to lower ridership as a result.

Excluding June, ridership in fiscal year 2019 has been 147,209 passengers compared with 156,867 for the same period in 2018.

Revenue for March through May 2019 was $1.168 million, compared with $1.441 million in 2018.

Bryan Ross, the railroad operations manager for the Missouri Department of Transportation, said ridership numbers are not where the agency wants them to be.

“In April, just after we got back into service after another stretch of days where we couldn’t run due to flooding, we had 13,022 people ride the trains, which was slightly up from April 2018 when there were 12,947 riders,” Ross said. “We’re feeling confident that with dryer months coming, ridership will come back.”

Ross said a contract with Amtrak for fiscal year 2020 shows slightly lower expenses due to lower maintenance costs on passenger cars and locomotives.

The Missouri legislature has approved $9.1 million for passenger trains funding although MoDOT had sought $16.6 million.

Ross said his agency agreed to allow buses to replace the trains after flooding increased freight traffic on the Union Pacific route between St. Louis and Kansas City.

MoDOT and Amtrak officials feared the River Runners would incur delays of four to six hours, which he said is not a safe condition for passengers to be waiting on a train.

“That’s when we go to bus service,” he said.

In the meantime, Ross said Amtrak continues to refurbish the cars used in Midwest corridor service by giving them new paint, upholstery and carpeting.

That work is expected to be completed by mid-February 2020.

“Amtrak has 80 passenger cars in their Midwest fleet, and Missouri pools with other Midwest states to use those cars,” Ross said. “As those cars get refreshed, they cycle into our system.”

Amtrak typically assigns six cars to each Missouri River Runner train.

New passenger cars for Midwest service are being built and may go into revenue service by summer 2020.

Suspension of Missouri Trains Extended to June 12

June 7, 2019

Amtrak on Thursday extended the suspension of its Missouri River Runner trains by another two days through June 12.

Affected are trains 311, 313, 314 and 316 between St. Louis and Kansas City.

Displaced passengers are being transported by chartered buses to all stations served by the trains.

The suspension began  on May 22 when host railroad Union Pacific increased freight traffic on the line due to flooding elsewhere on its system in the Midwest and South.

In the meantime, UP said Thursday that is has reopened its route between Chicago and Texas that is used in part by Amtrak’s Texas Eagle.

The Eagle has been suspended for the past week between St. Louis and Fort Worth, Texas.

Missouri River Runners Still Suspended

June 3, 2019

Although Amtrak has removed a notice from its website regarding suspension of its Missouri River Runners, the carrier has cancelled those trains for today.

For more than a week the River Runners, which operate between St. Louis and Kansas City, have been replaced by charter buses.

Host railroad Union Pacific has been diverting freight traffic to the route used by Nos. 311, 313, 314 and 316 due to flooding elsewhere on its system.

A check of the Amtrak website under “train status” found that all four trains are shown as being canceled.

The Texas Eagle between St. Louis and Fort Worth, Texas, has also been cancelled this week for similar reasons. Nos. 21 and 22 are still operating between Chicago and St. Louis, and between Fort Worth and San Antonio, Texas.

 

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.

River Runners to be Restored on Monday

March 30, 2019

Amtrak will restore operation of the Missouri River Runners between St. Louis and Kansas City on Monday.

Nos. 311, 313, 314, 316 had been suspended for the past two weeks due to freight train congestion on their route.

Flooding in Missouri, Iowa and Nebraskas had led to surge in freight traffic using the former Missouri Pacific mainline between Missouri’s two largest cities.

Amtrak agreed to replace the trains with chartered bus service after UP said Union Pacific said it would be unable to handle the trains in a timely matter.

Flooding has washed out some routes in the Midwest but the no washouts have been reported on the St. Louis-Kansas City line, which follows the Missouri River in part.