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Rail News: Passenger Rail

New siding eliminates Amtrak, UP bottleneck in Missouri

Yesterday, Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), Union Pacific Railroad and Amtrak officials marked the opening of an $8.1 million, 9,000-foot siding on a UP line used by Amtrak Missouri River Runner trains between Kansas City and St. Louis.

Located near California, Mo., the siding will eliminate a bottleneck between UP coal trains and Amtrak passenger trains on a 25-mile stretch of single track. The state of Missouri provided $4.8 million and the Federal Railroad Administration, $3.3 million for the project.

The siding also will help reduce Amtrak train delays, perhaps by about 17 percent annually, according to the national intercity passenger railroad. A MoDOT-commissioned study conducted by the University of Missouri had determined that building a siding in the single-track area would reduce passenger train delays. MoDOT, Amtrak and UP plan to make similar infrastructure improvements in the Knob Noster and Strasburg areas.

During fiscal-year 2009, which ended Sept. 30, Amtrak registered 150,870 passengers on Missouri River Runner trains, about even with FY2008’s total and about 30 percent higher than FY2007’s count.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/9/2009