State lawmakers are looking for a way to make the cross-state passenger trains run on time and maybe, more often. AMTRAK is just one of the issues facing the joint legislative committee on intermodal transportation. But it’s a hot issue. Committee members fuss about AMTAK’s poor on-time record between Kansas City and St. Louis and the competition with increasing amounts of freight that use the same line. The State Transportation Department’s Brian Weiler says the tracks are owned by Union Pacific, which is in the freight business. He says U.P. tries hard to provide priority rail space for AMTRAK trains, but freight traffic is increasing. Weiler says AMTRAK usage, regardless of on-time performance, is off because of lack of promotion of the service. He says the funding for promotion of AMTRAK service has been non-existence in recent years. One state lawmaker says AMTRAK goes out of the way to punish the people who use it and promotions won’t win back customers who’ve had bad personal experiences. The committee hopes to get the president of AMTRAK before it this fall.
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