Section 22214 - Amtrak Daily Long-Distance Service Study
Passenger Rail Kansas is a grass roots advocacy organization, dedicated to the preservation and expansion of service in Kansas and the surrounding region.
Chicago-Houston Lone Star Subject of Study and Funding
December 23, 2022
The Chicago-Houston Lone Star made its last run in October 1979. The train made stops in Kansas City, Wichita, Oklahoma City, Fort Worth and other smaller intermediate cities and towns. When considering historical Lone Star patronage and fiscal performance, era rail advocates understood the discontinuance as politically inspired. It was nothing more than window dressing -- sold to the public as a way to shore up the federal budget and tackle government debt in an era of hyper-inflation.
Today, a growing number of Congressmen understand the need for growth to benefit rural commercial interests. They recognize, and are prepared to correct the mistakes of the past through means within the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). IIJA, signed by President Biden on November 15, 2021 provides historical funding levels to rebuild a national passenger rail network.
More specifically, IIJA includes Section 22214-Amtrak Daily Long-Distance Service Study. This study requires the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to study a set of discontinued and less-than-daily passenger rail routes under these criteria:
- Long-Distance routes discontinued on May 1, 1971
- Long-Distance routes discontinued after May 1, 1971
- Tri-weekly Cardinal route (Chicago-New York)
- Tri-weekly Sunset Limited route (New Orleans-Los Angeles)
- Tri-weekly Texas Eagle route (San Antonio-Los Angeles segment)
As defined in 49 U.S.C. 24102 The Lone Star today is a candidate long-distance route of 1,368 miles.
Controversy surrounds how best to rebuild the network. Amtrak executives seek to focus upon short-distance, multi-frequency corridors. Rail experts see the inherent efficiencies associated with long distance routes. We agree with the experts. Amtrak Connects US has less to do with building a solid network and more to do with tapping new non-federal funding sources.
Contact information for Kansasís Washington D.C. delegation is included on the GovTrack website: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/KS
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