The Buzz

May 10, 2013

Mayor Sly James seeks train, 16 coaches long

Kansas City mayor joins colleagues in Wichita, Oklahoma City seeking federal funds for Amtrak connection through Wichita

The Buzz

The facts, faces and hum of local politics with Steve Kraske and Dave Helling

Kansas City mayor Sly James

has signed a statement seeking support for a passenger rail link between Newton, Kan. and Oklahoma City.

Mayor

Mick Cornett of Oklahoma City and Carl Brewer

of Wichita also signed the request.

If built, the line would run from Newton through Wichita, which has no Amtrak service. It would link Kansas City and San Antonio, Tex. with passenger rail.

That’s just a bit longer than the downtown streetcar.

“The fulfillment of our ultimate economic success is seriously hampered by the passenger rail ‘service gap’ between Oklahoma City and Wichita,” the statement says. “The absence of this vital link is a crucial deficiency in a transportation system anchored by Interstate 35 from San Antonio to Kansas City.”

Taxpayer money in Kansas and Oklahoma is expected to be a part of the eventual request for service. The Wichita Eagle says the federal share could approach $90 million.

We’re working on a bigger passenger rail story for the weekend. Watch for it.

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