NEWTON, Kan. - Top executives of Amtrak and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway will make a whistle-stop trip on the passenger railroad's Southwest Chief in Kansas.
Friday's event takes place amid efforts to preserve the Southwest Chief's current route between Newton, Kansas, and Albuquerque, New Mexico. The service is in jeopardy because BNSF, which owns the track, needs to upgrade it for its freight trains.
Kansas Transportation Secretary Mike King will be aboard the train with Amtrak president CEO Joe Boardman and BNSF executive Matt Rose. They plan to talk with local officials at each stop about the funding needed to keep the Southwest Chief's current route after Amtrak's current agreement with BNSF expires in 2016.
The train is scheduled to leave Topeka at 9:00 a.m. and stop in Newton, Hutchinson, Dodge City and Garden City.