TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Top executives with Amtrak and Burlington Northern Santa Fe are on a whistle-stop tour on the railroad’s Southwest Chief Friday.
It pulled into the Amtrak station in downtown Topeka Friday morning. Efforts are being made to preserve the Southwest Chief’s current route between Newton, Kansas and Albuquerque, New Mexico. The route is in jeopardy due to age and deterioration of the track in western Kansas.
BNSF owns the track and needs to upgrade it for its freight trains. Executives with both BNSF and Amtrak are on the trip Friday, making stops along the route to talk with local leaders about needed funding to keep its current route.
Amtrak hopes to split any track repair costs with BNSF state governments in Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico.
Amtrak’s current agreement with BNSF expires in two years.