Omaha to Kansas City Passenger Service?

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Omaha to Kansas City Passenger Service?
Posted by CMStPnP on Saturday, October 07, 2017 9:41 AM

So on my trips to KC of late I ask some of the locals driving me around about Amtrak and Amtraks current interest in starting up service between Oklahoma and Kansas City.    The vibe I get is they largely don't care about a connection to Oklahoma but typically the feedback I get is.    What would really be nice is a route between Omaha and Kansas City, if they could put trains on that route and make it a decent speed the KC folks seem to like that and it seems to be a consensus of folks that live there based on my informal conversations.     This really threw me for a loop because I had no idea that market even existed #1 and #2 the complete disinterest it seems in KC about traveling to Oklahoma or Dallas.

Interesting though and I wonder if Amtrak has looked at this?    The cities are fairly close together but I have no idea on the shape of the track between the cities or how much capacity the track has available.     Also, wonder if the general public feeling in Omaha is similar in wanting a better connection to Kansas City?   I wonder if this could be an emerging travel corridor that nobody has on their radar screen yet?

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Posted by ROBERT WILLISON on Saturday, October 07, 2017 10:28 AM

CMStPnP

So on my trips to KC of late I ask some of the locals driving me around about Amtrak and Amtraks current interest in starting up service between Oklahoma and Kansas City.    The vibe I get is they largely don't care about a connection to Oklahoma but typically the feedback I get is.    What would really be nice is a route between Omaha and Kansas City, if they could put trains on that route and make it a decent speed the KC folks seem to like that and it seems to be a consensus of folks that live there based on my informal conversations.     This really threw me for a loop because I had no idea that market even existed #1 and #2 the complete disinterest it seems in KC about traveling to Oklahoma or Dallas.

Interesting though and I wonder if Amtrak has looked at this?    The cities are fairly close together but I have no idea on the shape of the track between the cities or how much capacity the track has available.     Also, wonder if the general public feeling in Omaha is similar in wanting a better connection to Kansas City?   I wonder if this could be an emerging travel corridor that nobody has on their radar screen yet?

 

. You might be on to something.  I remember discussions on extending one of the mules ( St Louis to KC ) to Omaha. I don't know  what happened to the proposals.

I not sure if it feasible from an equipment point of view or how long the trip would take compared to the car trip of 2 1/2 hours.

Sure be nice if Amtrak could move back into the old Union station in ohmaha station.

 

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Posted by MidlandMike on Saturday, October 07, 2017 9:19 PM

I suspect that extending the Hartland to a thru connection is more of an Oklahoma thing.

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Posted by CMStPnP on Monday, October 09, 2017 11:09 AM

MidlandMike

I suspect that extending the Hartland to a thru connection is more of an Oklahoma thing.

I am sure it is outside of Kansas City it just does not seem to garner a lot of interest via folks that live in and around KC though.    I have to say though KC has an excellent Amtrak boarding time in both directions.    8 a.m. to Chicago with arrival in the afternoon and late evening for what could be but isn't Denver Colorado with arrival in the next morning.    Still even with those favorable boarding times, not a lot of folks board the Amtrak LD train there.    Waiting room seems to be always not very full.    Though I confess I still need to see it closer to boarding time............than 1-2 hours out.

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Posted by oltmannd on Monday, October 09, 2017 11:16 AM

I wonder if the demand is due to the flying out of KC vs. Omaha.  Lots of flights and cheap fares out of KC.  Omaha not so much.  There's almost a million folk the Omaha area.

-Don (Random stuff, mostly about trains - what else? http://blerfblog.blogspot.com/

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Monday, October 09, 2017 2:05 PM

oltmannd

I wonder if the demand is due to the flying out of KC vs. Omaha.  Lots of flights and cheap fares out of KC.  Omaha not so much.  There's almost a million folk the Omaha area. 

Oltmannd:  seems correct.  If it wasn't for the difference in single and hilevel equipment on trains this poster would -- If equipment available thru cars from the City of New Orleans Carbondale - STL - Kansas City - Omaha.  That would cover many intermediate destinations not close to an airport.  

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Posted by CMStPnP on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 1:10 PM

oltmannd

I wonder if the demand is due to the flying out of KC vs. Omaha.  Lots of flights and cheap fares out of KC.  Omaha not so much.  There's almost a million folk the Omaha area.

I met someone that drove from Southern MN to KC because of the cheaper fares on Southwest flying out of KC, they were flying into Texas, family of 6.     That is just nuts for me to drive that far to an airport.    She kept saying over and over again "Oh it was only 8 hours".......yikes!

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Posted by Jim200 on Thursday, October 12, 2017 12:54 PM

According to CB&Q 1965 timetable, there were three trains each way between Omaha and Kansas City, a distance of 195 miles. The 9:30 AM train from Kansas City had 17 stops and 14 minutes at St Joseph, and took 4 hrs 50 min with arrival in Omaha at 2:20 PM. The 4:45 PM train had 8 stops and 20 minutes at St Joseph, and took 4 hrs 40 min arriving in Omaha at 9:25 PM. After 20 min it appears that this train with a different number (or a different train) goes 55 miles in one hour to Lincoln, and then westward across Nebraska. The 11:15 PM night train had 14 stops and 15 minutes at St Joseph, but took a longish 6 hrs 5 min to arrive at Omaha at 5:20 AM.

The 8:15 AM train from Omaha had 9 stops and 5 minutes at St Joseph, and amazingly took only 4 hours to arrive in KC at 12:15 PM. There is also a 25 minute connecting train or same train from western Nebraska and Lincoln to Omaha. The 4:15 PM train had 14 stops and 18 min at St Joseph, and took 4 hrs 44 min and arrived in KC at 8:59 PM. The 1:15 AM night train had 14 stops and 10 minutes in St Joseph, and took 5 hrs 15 min for arrival in KC at 6:30 AM. There was also an 9 minute connecting train from western Nebraska and Lincoln to Omaha.

The easiest way to connect Omaha and KC is to extend the 9:15 AM morning "Missouri River Runner" from St Louis all the way to Omaha, for arrival at about 8 PM to 10 PM, depending on what maintenance you want to do or not do in KC, and when you want to leave KC. On the front end at St Louis you connect to the north bound 7:24 AM "Texas Eagle" and by throughway coach the north bound "City of New Orleans". At Omaha you connect with the west bound "California Zephyr" which departs at 11:05 PM to take you to Denver, Salt Lake City, and surprise, California. If you wait around till 5:00AM, the east bound Zephyr will take you to other destinations. There would be time for continuing the train from Omaha to Lincoln, or northward if desired.

The 8:15 AM train from KC to St Louis and back would remain the same. The morning train from Omaha would have to arrive in KC for a 4:00 PM departure to St Louis to keep the present schedule. This could be an 8 AM to 11 AM departure from Omaha or about an hour sooner for Lincoln. On the front end at Omaha, the east bound Zephyr arrives at 4:59 AM or a few hours late. A 10:30 AM departure from Omaha would get you to KC at about 3:30 PM. You will have to wait about 7 hours to catch the west bound "Southwest Chief",which by throughway bus can also take you to Oklahoma City, "Heartland Flyer" and "Texas Eagle" destinations. If you go on to St Louis, a throughway bus connects with the south bound "City of New Orleans".

There are many different ways to run this train, but it does offer the opportunity to decrease travel time and make more destinations accessible and easier.

http://streamlinermemories.info/Zephyr/B65-5TT.pdf

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Posted by ROBERT WILLISON on Thursday, October 12, 2017 4:09 PM

Jim200

According to CB&Q 1965 timetable, there were three trains each way between Omaha and Kansas City, a distance of 195 miles. The 9:30 AM train from Kansas City had 17 stops and 14 minutes at St Joseph, and took 4 hrs 50 min with arrival in Omaha at 2:20 PM. The 4:45 PM train had 8 stops and 20 minutes at St Joseph, and took 4 hrs 40 min arriving in Omaha at 9:25 PM. After 20 min it appears that this train with a different number (or a different train) goes 55 miles in one hour to Lincoln, and then westward across Nebraska. The 11:15 PM night train had 14 stops and 15 minutes at St Joseph, but took a longish 6 hrs 5 min to arrive at Omaha at 5:20 AM.

The 8:15 AM train from Omaha had 9 stops and 5 minutes at St Joseph, and amazingly took only 4 hours to arrive in KC at 12:15 PM. There is also a 25 minute connecting train or same train from western Nebraska and Lincoln to Omaha. The 4:15 PM train had 14 stops and 18 min at St Joseph, and took 4 hrs 44 min and arrived in KC at 8:59 PM. The 1:15 AM night train had 14 stops and 10 minutes in St Joseph, and took 5 hrs 15 min for arrival in KC at 6:30 AM. There was also an 9 minute connecting train from western Nebraska and Lincoln to Omaha.

The easiest way to connect Omaha and KC is to extend the 9:15 AM morning "Missouri River Runner" from St Louis all the way to Omaha, for arrival at about 8 PM to 10 PM, depending on what maintenance you want to do or not do in KC, and when you want to leave KC. On the front end at St Louis you connect to the north bound 7:24 AM "Texas Eagle" and by throughway coach the north bound "City of New Orleans". At Omaha you connect with the west bound "California Zephyr" which departs at 11:05 PM to take you to Denver, Salt Lake City, and surprise, California. If you wait around till 5:00AM, the east bound Zephyr will take you to other destinations. There would be time for continuing the train from Omaha to Lincoln, or northward if desired.

The 8:15 AM train from KC to St Louis and back would remain the same. The morning train from Omaha would have to arrive in KC for a 4:00 PM departure to St Louis to keep the present schedule. This could be an 8 AM to 11 AM departure from Omaha or about an hour sooner for Lincoln. On the front end at Omaha, the east bound Zephyr arrives at 4:59 AM or a few hours late. A 10:30 AM departure from Omaha would get you to KC at about 3:30 PM. You will have to wait about 7 hours to catch the west bound "Southwest Chief",which by throughway bus can also take you to Oklahoma City, "Heartland Flyer" and "Texas Eagle" destinations. If you go on to St Louis, a throughway bus connects with the south bound "City of New Orleans".

There are many different ways to run this train, but it does offer the opportunity to decrease travel time and make more destinations accessible and easier.

 

 it amazing how much train density and connections were left even by 1965. And how little remains today.

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Posted by jeffhergert on Thursday, October 12, 2017 4:47 PM

oltmannd

I wonder if the demand is due to the flying out of KC vs. Omaha.  Lots of flights and cheap fares out of KC.  Omaha not so much.  There's almost a million folk the Omaha area.

 

That's funny.  It seems everyone in Central Iowa/Des Moines area are always talking about using the Omaha airport instead of the Des Moines airport because of cheaper fares.

Some in Iowa have pushed (see other threads, some on the regular forum) for east-west service across the exRI/IAIS through Des Moines.  I wonder if they might have better success with a north/south route from the Twin Cities to Kansas City through Des Moines.  The UP would hate the idea, but I wonder if there would be more ridership.   

Jeff 

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Posted by Jim200 on Thursday, October 26, 2017 5:08 PM

Besides CB&Q, in 1965 Missouri Pacific had one of its four trains from St  Louis to Kansas City also go to Omaha. It left St Louis in the morning at 8:50 AM, arrived in KC at 2:20 PM, left KC at 2:40 with nine stops on the west side of the river, and arrived in Omaha Union Station at 6:55 PM.

http://streamlinermemories.info/South/MP64-FallTT.pdf

In the morning at 7:00 AM it left Omaha, arrived in KC at 11:10 AM, left KC at 11:30 AM, and arrived in St Louis at 5:10 PM. It should be noted that Missouri Pacific also had a train leave KC at 4:00 PM to St Louis, the same as Amtrak does today. The timetable also shows all the trains scheduled into St Louis from B&O, NYC, PRR, GM&O, IC, and Wabash in 1964/1965.

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Posted by BLS53 on Wednesday, November 01, 2017 5:09 AM

CMStPnP

 

 
oltmannd

I wonder if the demand is due to the flying out of KC vs. Omaha.  Lots of flights and cheap fares out of KC.  Omaha not so much.  There's almost a million folk the Omaha area.

 

I met someone that drove from Southern MN to KC because of the cheaper fares on Southwest flying out of KC, they were flying into Texas, family of 6.     That is just nuts for me to drive that far to an airport.    She kept saying over and over again "Oh it was only 8 hours".......yikes!

 

Southwest calls it "road hubbing". It's their rationalization for not having commuter affiliates. 8 hours is a little exteme though. 

Was much more common when Southwest served fewer cities, and there were less low cost competitors. Probably the most noteworthy was people driving from Atlanta to Birmingham to escape Delta's dominant hub pricing.

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, November 01, 2017 1:02 PM

BLS53
Probably the most noteworthy was people driving from Atlanta to Birmingham to escape Delta's dominant hub pricing

That might not be quite as extreme as the situation in Memphis, where there was enough traffic to Southwest in Little Rock, over 100 miles away, to support a shuttle-van service (the Bette Bus).

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Posted by BLS53 on Thursday, November 02, 2017 10:53 PM

Overmod

The van service is common in smaller communties, who have infrequent airline service to a major hub, but have a Southwest presence at an airport a couple of hours away. These van/shuttles tend to not be financially substainable unless they're government supported, in which most instances they're not.

 

 
BLS53
Probably the most noteworthy was people driving from Atlanta to Birmingham to escape Delta's dominant hub pricing

 

That might not be quite as extreme as the situation in Memphis, where there was enough traffic to Southwest in Little Rock, over 100 miles away, to support a shuttle-van service (the Bette Bus).

 

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Posted by mbv9415 on Tuesday, November 07, 2017 10:49 PM

oltmannd

I wonder if the demand is due to the flying out of KC vs. Omaha.  Lots of flights and cheap fares out of KC.  Omaha not so much.  There's almost a million folk the Omaha area.

 

Maybe 20 years ago....Omaha Eppley has quite the itinerary nowadays. 6 new cities being added between Sept-March. I have never found a fare low enough at MCI to make me want to get up early enough to drive the 3 hours down there. And MCI is kind of crappy nowadays; one terminal shut down, fighting over new plans as the current facility is outmoded. 

Omaha metro is over a million, then add the quarter plus from the Lincoln metro. 

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