Picking up steam: Kansans Support Amtrak

November 6, 2013

By Chad Frey in The Kansan, Nov. 4, 2013

Amtrak funding — and the future of the national passenger rail service — is a big issue.

There’s everything from deteriorating track conditions on the Southwest Chief — a long distance line that currently serves Newton — to the extension of the “Heartland Flyer” from Oklahoma to Kansas City to the more than a billion in federal funding received for the railroad to operate.

As the debate wages on, DFM Research from St. Paul, Minn., conducted a poll — and those they asked showed overwhelming support for maintaining funding for Amtrak. The company surveyed 3,000 people in eight congressional districts. About 70 percent responded that Amtrak funding should remain level when informed cuts to funding could mean a loss of service…

The Southwest Chief stops in Newton at about 3 a.m. each day. Passengers can head to Chicago or Los Angeles… The Heartland Flyer currently runs between Fort Worth, Texas, and Oklahoma City, Okla. A group called the Northern Flyer Alliance is working to extend that line to Kansas City, with a possible stop in Newton… Deteriorating track conditions in south-central and southwest Kansas have forced the Southwest Chief… to slow in Kansas. Amtrak has indicated it will reroute the Southwest Chief when its contract with BNSF Railway expires in 2015 if the line isn’t upgraded…

Rest of the story in The Kansan

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