AMTRAK Threatens to End KC Service

AMTRAK has notified Kansas City Terminal Railway Company (KCT) that it will end passenger service on it’s lines until new high tech safety devices are installed by the end of the year.
The notice was sent to KCT’s general Manager Bradley Peek from James A. Blair, AMTRAK’s Director of Host Railroads.
It’s the latest move in a complicated battle over rail passenger service and approaching deadline for new safety equipment aimed at reducing train collision and high speed derailments.
The State of Missouri, which operates the AMTRAK line between Kansas City and St. Louis, is also involved.
Michelle Teel, the Multimodal Operations Director for MoDOT, told the Senate Comerce Comittee the state would struggle paying the $20 million costs estimated to install the new safety gear. ” We don’t have a funding source,” Teel said.
Teel noted MoDOT has difficulty each year getting $9 million to pay for the AMTRAK service between Kansas City and St. Louis.
Teel wonders if the requirement is even necessary for Kansas City Terminal and the Terminsal Rail Road Association of St. Louis.
Teel told Congress KCT has 250 freight train movements day, compared with six passenger trains each day.
Both KCT and TRRA operate rail yards where numerous railroads their trains through each day, often at low speeds.
Three area senators, Senators Roy Blunt, Claire McCaskill and Kansas Senator Jerry Moran are members of the Senate’s Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.
There may be an effort soon to propose a bill tat would push back the deadline for installation of the safety equipment.

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