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Amtrak Debate Full Steam Ahead

February 28, 2005
By: Ian Roth
State Capital Bureau

Legislators say they are worried more Missourians are using Amtrak to leave the state, rather than to travel within it. Ian Roth has more on this story from the state capitol.

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There are currently more daily trips on Amtrak between St. Louis and Chicago than between St. Louis and Kansas City, a figure that alarms legislators.

However, under Governor Blunt's budget proposal more than $6 million could be used to maintain and improve railroad services between Missouri's two largest cities.

Brian Weiler of the Missouri Department of Transportation says that the funds could help to encourage railroad travelers to keep their business within the state, instead of taking the more readily available trip from St. Louis to Chicago.

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"We want it to be a service we're proud of, something that the state can be proud of. It's being debated quite a bit and it has been every year for the last several years, so this year's no different."

Those who oppose the allocation of the funds to Amtrak say they believe the money could be better spent elsewhere.

Reporting from the state capitol, I'm Ian Roth.