HUTCHINSON, Kan. — Kansas’ senior senator and leaders from Wichita and Newton met with Amtrak CEO Bill Flynn and Amtrak President Stephen Gardner along with officials from Texas and Oklahoma Tuesday afternoon regarding the future of expanding rail passenger service.
Leading the meeting was Sen. Jerry Moran and Kansas Sen. Carolyn McGinn. Also involved was Newton City Manager Kelly McElroy.
The discussion centered around extending the Heartland Flyer from Oklahoma City to Newton. Such connections would make it easier for Wichita and Newton residents to travel south by train. Currently, the route is served by buses. While the route expansion has been bantered about for years, this is as far as talks have progressed.
The expansion would connect Amtrak routes run by the SW Chief and Texas Eagle, which also connects to service out to Arizona and California.
The expansion is part of an effort to expand Amtrak to more than 160 cities across the nation.