Lawmakers: Budget compromise included funding for Amtrak route through Kansas
photo by: AP File Photo
Lawmakers say a federal budget compromise approved by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump provides $50 million of additional federal funding to maintain Amtrak rail passenger service through Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico.
The funding for the Southwest Chief route will enable Amtrak to pay matching funding for a grant to pay for maintenance and safety improvements to the Southwest Chief route, New Mexico Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and Rep. Ben Ray Lujan said Friday.
Amtrak officials previously proposed replacing train service with bus service between Dodge City, Kansas, and Albuquerque, New Mexico — about a quarter of the 2,265-mile route that provides daily train service between Los Angeles and Chicago, including stops in Lawrence.
Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran, along with senators from Colorado and New Mexico, had been pushing for funding for the route.
In summer 2018, the City of Lawrence signed a petition and sent a letter to the Kansas congressional delegation in support of maintaining the continuous train route.
— The Associated Press and Journal-World reporters contributed to this report