Cross-state Amtrak back to full service July 19

By The Examiner staff

Amtrak’s Missouri River Runner is set to resume full service, with four stops a day in Independence, on July 19. 

Amtrak cut River Runner service in half in the spring of 2020, leaving one round trip a day between Kansas City and St. Louis. 

The Missouri River Runner rolls into Independence.

That change left in place the morning train out of Kansas City, which leaves Union Station at 8:15, stops at the Truman Depot on Pacific Street at 8:34 and arrives in St. Louis at 1:55 p.m.  It also left the afternoon train out of St. Louis, with a 9:06 p.m. stop in Independence and a final scheduled stop at Union Station at 9:40.  

The Missouri Department of Transportation, which announced the resumption of full service Wednesday, didn’t specify times for the restored trains, but previously those where the morning train out of St. Louis with a stop in Independence at 1:20 p.m. and the afternoon train out of Kansas City with a stop in Independence at 4:19 p.m.  

In addition to the fares passengers pay, the federal government covers much of the cost of Amtrak. States kick in some money for short-haul routes within their borders. The General Assembly restored money for the River Runner in the budget it passed last month.  

MoDOT also is asking the public for comments at it looks at long-term passenger and freight rail service. Go to https://www.modot.org/missouri-state-freight-and-rail-plan 

Amtrak has three routes in Missouri: 

• The River Runner, which connects Kansas City and St. Louis with eight stops in between, including Independence and Lee’s Summit. 

• The Southwest Chief, which connects Chicago and Los Angeles, with stops in Kansas City and La Plata, Mo. Local residents see that train passing through Sugar Creek on the BNSF tracks. The Southwest Chief, cut to three days a week last October, was restored this week. 

• The Texas Eagle, which connects Chicago and San Antonio, with stops in St. Louis, Poplar Bluff and Arcadia, Mo. It’s also back to daily service.