With the recent addition of a new rail siding at California, Mo., riders of Amtrak’s Missouri River Runner have already been rewarded with much improved on-time performance, but there’s more good news. Missouri captured $31 million in recovery act funds for several high-speed rail projects that will support good jobs and keep the momentum building toward a faster and even more reliable passenger and freight train service.
The recovery act funding will be used for three shovel-ready projects:
• a second rail bridge over the Osage River;
• a universal crossover near the Kirkwood Amtrak station; and
• safety improvements at several rail crossings, primarily west of Sedalia.
It will also fund preliminary engineering on six future improvement projects worth approximately $100 million, including double tracks between Lee’s Summit and Pleasant Hill, a passing siding at Kingsville, a grade separation at Strasburg, a passing siding extension at Knob Noster and universal crossovers – a device that allows trains to crossover to another track in either direction – at Bonnots Mill and Hermann.
Missouri’s success was part of the larger Midwest Regional Rail Initiative’s effort that, as a whole, captured $2.6 billion of the $8 billion in recovery act funds available for high-speed rail corridor improvements.