Plans for Amtrak chugging along after Hannibal receives $500,000 for route planning

Hannibal Amtrak

Hannibal railroad tracks on the lower part of Broadway near the riverfront. | Muddy River News File Photo

HANNIBAL, Mo. — The possibility of an Amtrak stop in Hannibal seems to be on track.

The Missouri Department of Transportation applied in September for an allocation of $500,000 in federal funds to conduct a feasibility study to extend the Quincy-to-Chicago route to the Hannibal corridor and through St. Louis, Kansas City and St. Joseph. 

U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth from Illinois announced on Dec. 7 that Hannibal was one of 12 corridors that were awarded $500,000. Funding comes from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, established in November 2021, authorizing $1.2 trillion for transportation and infrastructure and allowing $550 billion of that to go to new investments and programs.

The application to expand rail service comes when federal funding for Amtrak has increased under the Biden administration. The recent federal infrastructure bill has $66 billion in new rail funding, including $22 billion earmarked for Amtrak.

Hannibal Mayor Barry Louderman said the study indicates how serious MoDOT and Amtrak are about making the project happen.

“The study will include schedules they can put together and things like that,” he said. “We have never gotten this far with trying to get Amtrak here. I think if they are putting that money forward, then they will approve it. At least I hope that is the case. I think this would be a very good thing for us.”

Louderman spoke about the benefits of an Amtrak in Hannibal in August during his mayoral campaign.

“Imagine what that could do for MACC (Moberly Area Community College) or HLGU (Hannibal-LaGrange University). Imagine being able to have kids from St. Louis, Kansas City or Chicago commute here to go to college and then go home on weekends,” he said.

Louderman is creating a committee that will start meeting at the first of the year to work on a plan to present to MoDOT regarding how Amtrak will impact Hannibal. Members of that committee will include representatives from tourism, economic development, Hannibal City Hall and the Hannibal Board of Public Works.

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