CHICAGO — The Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) and Amtrak have agreed on the scope of the Amtrak Expansion Feasibility Study.
KDOT has budgeted $200,000 for the study. The study will identify capital requirements and operating costs needed to provide state-sponsored passenger rail service between Kansas City, Oklahoma City and Fort Worth.
The study will consider factors such as potential schedules, railcar and locomotive availability and capital needs for rail improvements to accommodate passenger service. As part of the study, BNSF Railway will analyze the capacity of the route because a passenger rail service would have to share the tracks with BNSF freight trains.
Preliminary work has already begun and Amtrak expects to complete the study sometime in 2009. The Oklahoma and Texas transportation departments are cooperating in the study. If it shows evidence that state-supported Amtrak service should be considered, the states’ legislatures must decide if their states should support an expanded service.
The purpose of new passenger rail service would be to carry travelers along a 606-mile corridor in three states that connects to the national rail system.