A study of whether it’s feasible to run AMTRAK trains between St. Louis and Springfield is disappointing….
State transportation department spokesman Brian Weiler says he was hoping for better. The survey done by AMTRAK shows ridership projections would mean the state would have to subsidize the route to the tune of three-and-a-half million dollars. The study says the state also would have to spend about six-million dollars to upgrade crossings.
AMTRAK thinks it would take the train about six hours to travel between the two cities, about twice as long as it takes motorists to drive between the two.
Missouri already subsidizes AMTRAK’s trains between Kansas City and St. Louis. Those trains have been troubled by declining ridership in the last year and a half. AMTRAK attributes much of that decline to Union Pacific’s use of the tracks for its freight trains, although passenger trains are supposed to have precedence. UP also has been making extensive repairs to its right of way.