Brian Kelly/Brad Choat

ST. LOUIS  (KMOX) – There’s a warning today that it will be a lot tougher to take the train to Chicago —and impossible to take it to Kansas City — if the U.S. House Republican transportation budget plan becomes law.

The House Appropriations Subcommittee is proposing eliminating federal funding to Amtrak to cover operating costs for state-supported trains. That would include all of them between St. Louis and Kansas City and 3 of the 5 between St. Louis and Chicago.

Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari says the cuts would come at a bad time, “Ridership on both of these routes is up. Federal funding to make track improvements to and from St. Louis is in place to enable the service to operate even better.”

Magliari says plans are already in place to shift more cost to the states, but if passed, this plan would cut off federal funding abruptly on October first.

Copyright KMOX Radio

Comments (2)
  1. mulad says:

    The KC-STL service already covers 99% of its costs through fares (or at least it did in 2010) — it’s one of the best-performing routes in the entire country on a cost-recovery basis, and should be used an example of how to do things right elsewhere.

  2. Willie Green says:

    The KC-STL-CHI route is an efficient alternative to short-hop commuter airline service between these cities.
    We can be certain that the Oil, Highway and Airline lobbies are pulling hard on the political strings to obstruct the upgrade and improvement of passenger rail service along these routes. Bottom line: they don’t want passenger rail competing in this region.

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