Alternatives for New Passenger Rail Service in Kansas Outlined

CHICAGO – Four alternatives for state-sponsored passenger rail service between Kansas City, Oklahoma City and Fort Worth are detailed in a study released by Amtrak and the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT).

Start-up costs of the alternatives, which are in 2009 dollars and based on 100 percent on-time performance, range from $156 million to $479 million and the annual operating support range from $3.2 million to $8 million. Annual ridership estimates of the four alternatives range from 65,900 to 174,000.

Each of the options in the study, which was prepared for KDOT by Amtrak with BNSF Railway Co. input, restore passenger rail service to Wichita and five others cities in Kansas and Oklahoma that lost Amtrak service during federally-mandated cuts in 1979.

“I am pleased that we have completed this first step. With this study in hand, we can begin to have the kind of meaningful dialog that is necessary for Kansans to make a decision about how to proceed with passenger rail in our state,” said Kansas Transportation Secretary Deb Miller.

“Growth in state-supported corridors is an important part of our future at Amtrak,” said Michael Franke, Assistant Vice President, Policy & Development, noting Amtrak is the passenger rail operator of choice of 15 states. “We look forward to working with leaders of Kansas to provide Amtrak service as a mobility choice that is dependable, convenient, safe, economical and environmentally friendly.”