Kansas City Star
JEFFERSON CITY The House Budget Committee has narrowly
rejected a funding request sought by Amtrak to continue its
twice-daily, cross-state passenger service for the next several
Unless lawmakers later reverse course, the committee's vote
Tuesday would leave Missouri with only one train running between
St. Louis and Kansas City, meaning passengers could no longer
make a round trip in one day.
Although state transportation officials have said they have
enough funding to last only until the end of this month, an
Amtrak spokesman said Tuesday that there is no specific date
for one of the two trains to halt.
We'll continue working with lawmakers on the issue,
and as long as there's evidence the legislature is still considering
supplemental appropriations, we'll continue to operate the
service, said Marc Magliari, an Amtrak spokesman based
Amtrak service costs the state about $6.2 million annually.
But this year, as it did last year, the legislature appropriated
just $5 million for Amtrak.
Last year, when Amtrak threatened to end one of the two trains
by March 1, 2003, the legislature agreed to spend an additional
$800,000 and state officials struck a deal with Amtrak to
impose a $5-per-passenger surcharge on Missouri trips.