New AMTRAK route between Kansas City and Oklahoma City

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Re: New AMTRAK route between Kansas City and Oklahoma City

Postby DaveKCMO » Wed Sep 30, 2009 9:46 am

yesterday's meeting was pretty uneventful. passenger rail is in the kansas long-term transportation plan, and they are federally obligated to update their state rail plan (and that plan must address passenger rail).

some interesting facts, though:

- kansas ranks 6th in rail miles (4,780 mi) compared to other states
- short lines account for 41% of that total (1,930 mi) and carried 14.5m tons each year
- coal is tops in total freight movement (60%+), grain is the top freight export
- KDOT was the only state DOT to use ARRA highway "flex" funds for short line improvements ($3m)
- amtrak study is a bit late (lots of demand these days), but should be done by year end

legislative support is lining up quickly and handily. if you are kansas resident and support a state-sponsored train between KC, wichita, OKC, and ft. worth, please make sure you let your state delegation know it!

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Re: New AMTRAK route between Kansas City and Oklahoma City

Postby KCMax » Wed Sep 30, 2009 9:53 am

DaveKCMO wrote:yesterday's meeting was pretty uneventful. passenger rail is in the kansas long-term transportation plan, and they are federally obligated to update their state rail plan (and that plan must address passenger rail).

some interesting facts, though:

- kansas ranks 6th in rail miles (4,780 mi) compared to other states
- short lines account for 41% of that total (1,930 mi) and carried 14.5m tons each year
- coal is tops in total freight movement (60%+), grain is the top freight export
- KDOT was the only state DOT to use ARRA highway "flex" funds for short line improvements ($3m)
- amtrak study is a bit late (lots of demand these days), but should be done by year end

legislative support is lining up quickly and handily. if you are kansas resident and support a state-sponsored train between KC, wichita, OKC, and ft. worth, please make sure you let your state delegation know it!


Should we be writing Congressman Moore or our reps in Topeka?
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Re: New AMTRAK route between Kansas City and Oklahoma City

Postby DaveKCMO » Fri Oct 02, 2009 4:00 pm

KCMax wrote:Should we be writing Congressman Moore or our reps in Topeka?


just topeka. letters, phone calls, emails, whatever works for you.

the work has been done at the federal level.

also forgot to mention that KU's business school is performing an economic impact study, in addition to amtrak's implementation study. this will show lawmakers some of the more intangible benefits of restoring passenger rail to the state.

http://depotredux.blogspot.com/2009/10/another-team-gets-involved.html

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Re: New AMTRAK route between Kansas City and Oklahoma City

Postby DaveKCMO » Thu Oct 15, 2009 1:11 pm

you can vote below and view results for a secondary (non-amtrak) use for the lawrence depot, which will eventually serve the expanded service to OK/TX:

http://depotredux.blogspot.com/

"transit hub" was the clear winner of the official public input tally, which is good news for lawrence citizens who rely on greyhound, K-10 connector, and local buses. the city is expected to take ownership of the depot later this year.

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Re: New AMTRAK route between Kansas City and Oklahoma City

Postby DaveKCMO » Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:44 pm

Train would make money

The economic impact study was commissioned by the K.T. Wiedemann Foundation Inc., of Wichita. It was done by Jayhawk Consulting, of The University of Kansas School of Business...

It isn't that the train itself would be profitable. It is estimated operation of the train would cost $22.33 million a year. But revenue would be only $9.79 million a year. That is based on an estimate of 150,000 riders a year.

The economic benefit of $3.20 to $1 includes such factors as increased travel, tourism, and employment along the route.


"Benefits, such as highway maintenance savings, reduced user fuel costs and travel cost reductions, were not considered," she said.


She said the scrambling by the states to deal with large budgetary deficits shouldn't prevent them from moving forward with the Northern Flyer project. That is because the states aren't being asked to put up any money yet...

Only when the trains are ready to run, probably not until 2012 or 2013, would the states be asked to subsidize operating costs.

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Re: New AMTRAK route between Kansas City and Oklahoma City

Postby KC-wildcat » Tue Jan 05, 2010 3:33 pm

I wish there was an Amtrak Line that serviced Manhattan - Columbia.  This area is being dubbed the "Animal Health Corridor" and includes industry in Manhattan, Topeka, Lawrence, Kansas City, and Columbia. 

It would be proactive to include Manhattan in any long-term infrastructure goals.  Manhattan is the new home of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility.  Construction should begin in the upcoming year.  http://www.nbafinkansas.org/FAQ.aspx#q6


"The $650 million NBAF will create up to 1,500 construction jobs and 450 permanent jobs at the lab. It will generate an estimated economic impact of $3.5 billion in its first 20 years and create a magnet for private biotechnology companies, professionals, and support infrastructure. It also will result in collaborative opportunities for existing universities and research institutions and will help attract more top-flight researchers to the area." 

Plus, it would be nice to take the train to sports events. 

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Re: New AMTRAK route between Kansas City and Oklahoma City

Postby dangerboy » Tue Jan 05, 2010 3:53 pm

There is no rail line connecting KC to Columbia, and we are still a long ways away from building new rail lines.  99% of current efforts are adding passenger service to existing lines.

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Re: New AMTRAK route between Kansas City and Oklahoma City

Postby DaveKCMO » Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:37 pm

KC-wildcat wrote:I wish there was an Amtrak Line that serviced Manhattan - Columbia.


there was talk early on about asking kansas to also fund an "amtrak thruway" bus connection between manhattan and topeka or newton. not sure if that will be in the initial service plan. while not a train, it would offer direct connections to jeff city (which is also in dire need of a thruway connection to columbia). while greyhound and megabus serve columbia (at separate facilities!), they don't offer direct connections at KC's union station (which in turn requires a connecting KCATA bus ride between train and bus).

of course, most people don't want to make more than one connection when traveling. doesn't help that none of these modes connect seamlessly.

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Re: New AMTRAK route between Kansas City and Oklahoma City

Postby DaveKCMO » Sat Jan 23, 2010 11:27 am

enabling legislation has been introduced in the kansas legislature:

http://www.kslegislature.org/bills/2010/409.pdf

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Re: New AMTRAK route between Kansas City and Oklahoma City

Postby grovester » Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:56 pm

forgot about the 2-day brain fart, here's the reply from my KS senator Terrie Huntington

"I will support the enabling bill which will provide for federal stimulus dollars for the project, but please be aware that if and when the RR line comes through Kansas, it will cost the state $14 mm per year, because Amtrak does not run at a profit."

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Re: New AMTRAK route between Kansas City and Oklahoma City

Postby DaveKCMO » Fri Feb 05, 2010 2:55 pm

grovester wrote:forgot about the 2-day brain fart, here's the reply from my KS senator Terrie Huntington

"I will support the enabling bill which will provide for federal stimulus dollars for the project, but please be aware that if and when the RR line comes through Kansas, it will cost the state $14 mm per year, because Amtrak does not run at a profit."


i'd respond and ask her what the annual cost of maintaining I-35 is, including all maintenance, snow removal, and highway patrol. it ain't 100% covered by the state gas tax, that's for sure.

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Re: New AMTRAK route between Kansas City and Oklahoma City

Postby DaveKCMO » Fri Feb 12, 2010 12:57 pm

This just in from Deborah Fischer Stout, President, Northern Flyer
Alliance, Inc. Kansas SB-409 passed out of Committee UNANIMOUSLY this
morning. Please stand by for more details and action that needs to be taken
immediately by all of us, especially those in Kansas.


now on to the floor for a vote! as a reminder, this bill will only create the authority for KDOT to operate and fund passenger rail services in the state, not to actually fund the service. this will tell the feds that kansas is serious and can compete for the next round of passenger rail grants that are part of the 2010 budget ($2.5B, i think?).

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Re: New AMTRAK route between Kansas City and Oklahoma City

Postby DaveKCMO » Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:54 pm

SB 409 passed in the kansas senate today, 37-3!

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Re: New AMTRAK route between Kansas City and Oklahoma City

Postby KCMax » Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:07 pm

DaveKCMO wrote:SB 409 passed in the kansas senate today, 37-3!


Woo-hoo!
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Re: New AMTRAK route between Kansas City and Oklahoma City

Postby DaveKCMO » Thu Feb 18, 2010 3:08 pm

the house is next. there will be another action call soon!

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Re: New AMTRAK route between Kansas City and Oklahoma City

Postby DaveKCMO » Fri Feb 19, 2010 11:48 am

if you know anyone in the ark city area who supports this effort, please have them contact this legislator right away:

Kasha Kelley
1-786-296-7671
kahsa.kelley@house.ks.gov

she has been on record supporting the creation of the revolving fund, but not any annual subsidies for operating the service.

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Re: New AMTRAK route between Kansas City and Oklahoma City

Postby KCMax » Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:00 pm

Sent to my rep:

As oil prices continue to climb higher and higher, I feel it is imperative Kansas puts itself in a position to mitigate the effects of rising energy costs. This means investing in mass transit, in particular, passenger rail service.

Although Kansas SB 409 would simply allow KDOT to fund passenger rail service, while not actually providing funding, this would be a great first step and a way to show the feds (who are more supportive of funding passenger rail than the previous administration) that Kansas is serious about investing in rail service.

I would also urge that legislators look to someday fund passenger rail service in the state, and leverage state funds into getting federal funding. The amount it would take to subsidize Amtrak is just a tiny fraction of what we spend to subsidize our highway system.

Thank you for your time.
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Re: New AMTRAK route between Kansas City and Oklahoma City

Postby GRID » Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:42 pm

Is there a reason why Denver is never talked about as a potentail leg from KC?  Is it just too far?

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Re: New AMTRAK route between Kansas City and Oklahoma City

Postby KCMax » Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:44 pm

GRID wrote:Is there a reason why Denver is never talked about as a potentail leg from KC?  Is it just too far?


I would guess that and there are too few cities along the way?
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Re: New AMTRAK route between Kansas City and Oklahoma City

Postby LenexatoKCMO » Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:46 pm

Out of our neighboring regional cities I think it is definitely the most attractive destination but it would be hard to compete now that SW flies to DIA for just a tad over $100 round trip - thats almost a whole days worth of skiing difference in time. 


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