JEFFERSON CITY -- The Missouri Department of Transportation reports a 100 percent on-time performance for Amtrak trains and their passengers during the Thanksgiving holiday week. The week was measured from Tuesday, Nov. 24 through Monday, Nov. 30. During this period each of the four trains leaving St. Louis and Kansas City (one from each side of the state in the morning and again in the evening) arrived at its final location exactly on time.
The 100 percent on time performance is especially noteworthy in that formerly, on-time performance in past years ranged between 55 percent to 79 percent.
"This represents a dramatic improvement to Amtrak service in our state," says Pete Rahn, director of MoDOT. "We have made a commitment to make Amtrak a more reliable transportation option allowing Missourians to arrive at their destinations on time."
A contributing factor for reaching this on-time goal is the recently finished California, Mo., siding project, which opened on Nov. 21. The additional 9,000-foot side track located just west of California allows slower freight trains to move off the main track and free up the faster Missouri River Runner trains to pass through.
The official ribbon cutting for the new California Siding Project is next Tuesday Dec. 8. Rahn, along with officials from Union Pacific and Amtrak will be in attendance.
Amtrak trains have been supported by the state financially since 1979. MoDOT is waiting for notification regarding federal railroad administration grants that would allow for more projects similar to the California siding. Notification is expected this winter.