An Amtrak train will pass through eastern Arkansas City on Friday morning as part of an initiative to evaluate the potential for restoring passenger rail service here.

Amtrak will operate the limited capacity one-way inspection train June 9 from Oklahoma City to Kansas City, Missouri. Return transportation will not be provided.

The purpose of the trip is to see the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway and explore the opportunity to extend Amtrak’s Heartland Flyer passenger rail service north to Newton, where it can connect with the existing Amtrak Southwest Chief route.

“As a retired railroader, I am excited about the opportunity to potentially bring back passenger rail service to Arkansas City and the surrounding area,” said Mayor Duane Oestmann.

“The economic benefit of bringing more visitors through town, not the mention the travel convenience for local citizens — especially Oklahoma Sooners fans who could travel to Oklahoma City and back on the train — would be well worth the expenditure needed to bring the rail line up to passenger standards.”

The train will operate on the schedule shown below. Each of the stops between Guthrie, Oklahoma, and Wichita will take place at the former Santa Fe stations in each of those respective cities.

In Arkansas City, the BNSF depot is located at 520 E. Fifth Ave., east of the Arkansas City Fire-EMS Department and north of Two Rivers Co-op. The train is expected to arrive between 10:15 and 10:45 a.m.

“We encourage as many Arkansas City residents as possible to come to the depot and welcome this special Amtrak train to town,” said City Manager Nick Hernandez.

“Let’s show Amtrak that Arkansas City is excited about this opportunity with our welcoming ways!”

Both Hernandez and Oestmann plan to ride with the train from Oklahoma City to Kansas City.

For more information about this event, contact Todd Stennis with Amtrak at stennit@amtrak.com.

Amtrak inspection train schedule

All times below are estimated departure times, unless otherwise noted:

  • 7:45 a.m. — Oklahoma City Santa Fe Station (downtown)
  • 8:30 a.m. — Guthrie, Oklahoma
  • 9:15 a.m. — Perry, Oklahoma
  • 10 a.m. — Ponca City, Oklahoma
  • 10:45 a.m. — Arkansas City
  • 12:05 p.m. — Wichita
  • 1 p.m. — Newton
  • 2:20 p.m. — Emporia
  • 3:45 p.m.  — Topeka
  • 5:30 p.m. (projected arrival time) — Kansas City Union Station

This information was provided by City of Arkansas City Public Information Officer and Special Projects Coordinator Andrew Lawson.

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