Amtrak Kansas rail project to begin next week

October 16, 2015

Rail improvements along Amtrak’s Southwest Chief are expected to begin next week on a stretch of the line between Holcomb and Deerfield, according to the City of Garden City.Website Insert Development Finance and Management copy

This portion of an overall project to upgrade several miles of BNSF Railway through western Kansas is expected to be completed before Thanksgiving. Seven track switches in this segment also will be completed, along with two road crossings west of the area.

“This project is the culmination of work by a multitude of people who recognize the importance of passenger and freight rail to our communities,” Garden City Manager Matt Allen said in a news release. “This would not have been possible without the support of our elected representatives at the state level and at the federal level.”

The project is funded by a federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Grant awarded to the City of Garden City in the fall of 2014.

The Southwest Chief is an Amtrak passenger service that operates daily between Chicago and Los Angeles. A segment of the route through Kansas and eastern Colorado is on a BNSF Railway subdivision where freight traffic levels no longer justify the investment required to support passenger train speeds.

According to railway engineers, the condition of the route is sufficient for freight traffic, but without intervention, would not meet the higher maintenance standards required for operation of passenger trains and the route would no longer be feasible.

Read the full story from The Garden City Telegram by clicking here.


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