Concerned about too many train? Slow trains? Trains blocking an intersection? Rail crossing safety or additional passenger rail service?
Two public forums to gather input for the development of the 2016 Kansas Statewide Rail Plan Update have been scheduled for July 19 in Topeka and July 20 in Wichita.
“Anyone wanting to talk about rail issues and wants to bring them to the attention of KDOT as we work thru the process of having these meetings and updating the rail plan should attend,” said John Maddox, freight/rail manager for the Kansas Department of Transportation.
Updating the state’s rail plan is required every four years.
“It’s pretty broad reaching on a lot of rail issues in Kansas,” Maddox said. Issues discussed can include rail crossings, number of trains, freight, technical rail issues, noise and passenger service.
Increasing passenger service requires cooperation between states, rail line owners and communities that may own the rail stop.
“The Southwest Chief runs thru Union Station, Lawrence, Topeka and further on. It is main route,” Maddox said. Studies done concerning other routes that could connect to Oklahoma City were done several years ago.
“Those type of concepts are multi-state,” he said. “They require cooperation.”
KDOT representatives and a team led by CDM Smith consultants will provide brief presentations about the Statewide Rail Plan Update process and solicit input and perspectives from attendees. The update will detail freight rail transportation and existing passenger rail service as well as capture concepts for improved and potentially expanded passenger rail service.
“Public participation is key to the update and will provide for a fuller understanding of the challenges and concerns from urban and rural perspectives,” said Maddox.
The date and location of the forums are:
Topeka, Tuesday, July 19; 6:30-8:30 p.m.; KDOT District One office; 121 S.W. 21st St.
Wichita, Wednesday, July 20; 5-6:30 p.m.; City Hall; 455 North Main St.
The public is invited to attend and provide feedback directly to the project team. For more information about the 2016 Kansas Statewide Rail Plan Update, please contact John Maddox at [email protected] or 785-296-3228.