Moran: Amtrak commits to keeping Southwest Chief route open through next year

photo by: AP File Photo

In this file photo from May 25, 2017, an Amtrak train prepares to leave Penn Station in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

TOPEKA – Amtrak officials said Wednesday that the national passenger rail service has committed to continuing operation of the Southwest Chief route, which runs through Lawrence, open at least for the next 12 months.

Kansas Republican U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran announced that in a news release following a hearing before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.

The 2,300-mile line runs between Chicago and Los Angeles. In June, however, Amtrak announced it was exploring the possibility of discontinuing rail service between Dodge City and Albuquerque, N.M., and instead establishing bus service along that portion of the route.

In August, Moran co-sponsored an amendment to a transportation spending bill aimed at keeping the route open.

During Wednesday’s hearing, Moran said, Amtrak officials committed to continuing operation along the entire route through the current federal fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, 2019.


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