FRA study: More Amtrak routes could be passing through Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Right now, the Federal Railroad Administration is conducting a study to assess the restoration of long-distance intercity passenger rail service and new potential routes for Amtrak.

The Amtrak Daily Long-Distance Service Study began in September 2022. It was tasked to the FRA under delegation from the Secretary of Transportation through Section 22214 of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) of 2021.

Amtrak push from Kansas lawmakers

According to the FRA, the study will:

  • Plan and execute agency, stakeholder and public engagement

  • Review previous Long-Distance services

  • Assess current Long-Distance services and travel market

  • Develop study methods and tools

  • Develop restoration and expansion concepts

  • Identify preferred options and prioritization

  • Develop costs, benefits, and financing information

  • Identify final recommendations and implementation strategies

  • Issue final report

So far, two meetings have been held. In January-February 2023, the FRA discussed the universe of routes and evaluation factors. In the summer of 2023, the FRA discussed enhanced network route development. In February 2024, the FRA discussed route identification.

According to the FRA, long-distance routes are routes that exceed 750 miles. Amtrak operates 15 long-distance trains that travel routes from 760-2,500 miles.

Under BIL, the FRA is required to assess:

  • Any Amtrak long-distance routes that were discontinued

  • Any Amtrak long-distance routes that occur on a non-daily basis

  • Evaluate potential new Amtrak long-distance routes that would…

    • Link and serve large and small communities as part of a regional rail network

    • Advance the economic and social well-being of rural areas of the United States

    • Provide enhanced connectivity for the national long-distance passenger rail system

    • Reflect public engagement and local and regional support for restored passenger rail service

Potential routes that would pass through Kansas:


In the PDF above, the FRA shared multiple maps of potential routes:

  • The first image is a map of the proposed network of preferred routes.

  • The second and third images show maps of a route that runs from Phoenix, Arizona, to Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota.

  • The fourth image shows a map of a route that runs from Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, to New York City, New York.

  • The fifth and sixth images show maps of a route that runs from San Antonio, Texas, to Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota.

One more meeting is planned for the spring of 2024, where the FRA will go over recommended actions.

To find the full study from meeting three regarding route identification, click here.

To learn more about the Amtrak Daily Long-Distance Service Study, click here.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to KSN-TV.