Posts Tagged ‘Wichita Union Station’

Wichita Still Wants Amtrak Back

October 14, 2017

Promoters of bringing Amtrak back to Wichita, Kansas, held a conference this week to discuss how to bring that about.

A Wichita City council member expressed optimism that service could be reinstated, but didn’t say when that would be.

“The market of the youth and even retired people, they’re driving these kind of decisions and say this is how we keep our city, it’s the 48th largest city, we need to be investing in that or we don’t keep up with the rest of the trends that are going on in the world today,” said Pete Meitzner.

The plan is to have Amtrak use the former Wichita Union Station.

Amtrak’s Chicago-Houston Lone Star served Wichita until early October 1979 when the train was discontinued in a massive route restructuring.

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Wichita Union Station Could Accommodate Amtrak if it Elects to Resume Service to That City

June 16, 2017

If Amtrak ever does extend the Heartland Flyer to Kansas City, it might result in the revival of rail passenger service at Union Station in Wichita, Kansas.

The station is now owned by Occidental Management, which is in the midst of a $60 million redevelopment project there. That work began in 2014.

An Amtrak inspection train recently stopped at the station site on its journey from Oklahoma City to Kansas City.

The inspection train followed the route of Amtrak’s former Chicago-Houston train, the Lone Star, which was discontinued in early October 1979.

Amtrak spokesman Joe McHugh said during the stop in Wichita that the largest city in Kansas is one of the largest cities in the United States currently not served by Amtrak.

Gary Oborny, Chairman and CEO of Occidental Management, said the station, built in 1914, sat vacant for several years before his company acquired it.

He said the building could be configured to accommodate Amtrak either on the upper level near the railroad tracks or on a lower floor.

Oborny says upgrades wouldn’t have to be major because Amtrak’s needs are different today than they were in the 1970s.

“An Amtrak location would probably run $350,000 to $400,000,” which Oborny said would increase the cost of station renovation.

At one time, Wichita Union Station hosted passenger trains of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe; the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific; the St. Louis-San Francisco; and the Midland Valley.