Missouri reports rail crossing safety progress


“An old right-of-way under the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad could become the new road for traffic diverted from a dangerous crossing where an Amtrak train derailed after colliding with a truck in June 2022, killing four and injuring almost 150.”

This is on the Santa Fe Airline from Kansas City to Chicago.

“Prior to the collision, Missouri used a fee on driver licenses to fund rail crossing improvements, McKenna said. The fee raised about $1.5 million annually and drew federal matching funds of about $4.5 million.”

" The timeline for making recommended changes along passenger lines will be dependent on how local governments and the communities that use the crossings react, McKenna said.

“There were 17 total closings recommended,” McKenna said. “I’m sure that we’ll meet with some opposition at the local level. We’re going to have to work through those things and find the right solution and the right mix of funding.”

Amtrak has three routes that serve Missouri:

  • The Southwest Chief from Chicago enters the state in Clark County and exits at Kansas City on its way to Los Angeles. The report estimates the plan for passive crossings will cost $7.6 million and all safety improvements on the line will cost $63.3 million.
  • The Missouri River Runner uses the east-west Union Pacific line from St. Louis to Kansas City. There are six passive public crossings, with two recommended for closure, one for upgrades and three for conversion to private crossings. The report estimates a cost of $91,000 for the passive crossing upgrades and $30.3 million overall.
  • The Texas Eagle runs on Union Pacific tracks through southeast Missouri with 25 passive public crossings.The report estimates a cost of $10.8 million to put lights and gates at 20 crossings, flashing lights at one and to close four. All safety improvements recommended for the line would cost an estimated $35.5 million.

Local opposition will come from the people who use the crossings proposed for closure daily, Mauzey said.

“Nobody likes to go east when they want to go south,” he said."