'We've done so much work': Amtrak potentially making its way through Wichita
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - The last time Wichita saw an Amtrak train moving through its neighborhoods was in 1979. Over 40 years later the rumble and whistles could be back.
"We've done so much work locally and regionally to prepare Kansas, Department of Transportation, and Oklahoma Department of Transportation to agree that they think that this is a worthy solicitation for those two states to join together to pursue," said Sedgwick County Commissioner, Pete Meitzner.
Meitzner said financial issues such as ridership and cost caused the cancellation of many routes. He added whenever there is not enough revenue to cover the cost, the states make up for it. Meitzner said times have changed and Amtrak has made technological advances. He said he's confident ridership will be up.
The Federal Railroad Association (FRA) has approximately 51 billion in grant funding. Meitzner said Oklahoma and Kansas are going to have to split the cost. The grant will pay 80 percent of that cost.
Each state's Department of Transportation has to directly apply to FRA for their sections of the grant. The required submittal is due within the next couple of days.