Dec. 28—Taking a train ride from St. Joseph to Kansas City is another step closer to reality.
The Missouri Department of Transportation was awarded two grants this month from the Federal Railroad Administration Corridor ID Program, which will provide up to $500,000 each to study the potential expansion of Amtrak lines.
One grant will help MoDOT conduct a feasibility study on the scope, schedule and cost estimate of a proposed line connecting St. Joseph to Kansas City and include a connection with the Missouri River Runner route to St. Louis. The other will fund a study for a proposed line connecting Hannibal, Missouri, to Chicago, Illinois.
St. Joseph resident Scott Tucker said it has been a while since he has been on an Amtrak train, but he remembers riding it to St. Louis.
"I don't know any negatives to it at all," he said. "I think anything that would make it easier for us to come and go from St. Joseph is a positive."
Tucker visits family in Kansas City at least once a week, and he would be open to taking the train there.
"It probably wouldn't be as convenient for me because I probably need to have transportation once I got there, and (Interstate) 29 is awfully good," he said. "It takes me an hour to get to and from South Kansas City."
But Tucker said he could envision more people riding the train if the option was available. A passenger rail line between Kansas City and St. Joseph especially would benefit travelers who may not have access to a vehicle.
"I think it'd make it easier, possibly for people that are daily commuters that work in St. Joe or vice versa work in Kansas City," he said.
MoDOT spokesperson Linda Horn said the agency has only been notified of the two grants so far, and the groundwork for the study will begin in the new year.
"We need to hire a consultant to develop a feasibility study to look at options," she said in an emailed statement. "More information will be available in 2024 as this gets underway."
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