NEWTON, Kansas – Top executives of Amtrak and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway will make a whistle-stop trip on the passenger railroad’s Southwest Chief in Kansas.
Friday’s event takes place amid efforts to preserve the current route between Newton, Kansas, and Albuquerque, New Mexico. The route is in jeopardy because the track, which is owned by BNSF, needs to be upgraded for passenger service, but BNSF doesn’t require the upgrades for its freight operations.
Discussions have been taking place about how the costs of improvements might be shared.
Amtrak president and CEO Joe Boardman and BNSF executive Matt Rose plan to talk with local officials at each stop Friday about the funding issues.
The train is scheduled to leave Topeka at 9 a.m. and stop in Newton, Hutchinson, Dodge City and Garden City.