Amtrak Missouri River Runner to return to two daily round trip trains

The Missouri River Runner rolls into Independence.

The state of Missouri and Amtrak will restore the second of two daily round-trip trains on the Amtrak Midwest Missouri River Runner line between the Amtrak stations in Kansas City and St. Louis starting July 19.

According to the Missouri Department of Transportation, funding from the state of Missouri and the federal American Rescue Plan Act will keep the two round-trip trains running through the end of December 2021. 

The service was reduced to one round-trip each day in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We appreciate the General Assembly and Gov. Parson providing necessary resources for the Amtrak Missouri River Runner service in the state’s budget as well as the additional COVID relief funds enabling us to restore this important transportation service to Missourians,” Missouri Department of Transportation Director Patrick McKenna said in a news release Wednesday.

“The two daily round-trip trains will be available through December, covering the busiest time of the year, including summer vacations, fall festivals and year-end holiday travel. We will re-evaluate the situation this fall based on the actions at the federal level with the renewal of the federal transportation budget to determine how long we can support the two daily round-trip service," McKenna added.

An Economic Impact Study of the Missouri River Runner found the service generates more than $200 million in annual economic impact in Missouri. According to the Missouri Department of Transportation, it also supports more than 1,250 jobs in communities at the stops across the state: Kirkwood, Washington, Hermann, Jefferson City, Sedalia, Warrensburg, Lees Summit and Independence, in addition to Kansas City Union Station and St. Louis Gateway Station.

Missouri sponsors the Amtrak Missouri River Runner intercity passenger service between St. Louis and Kansas City, with access to national Amtrak routes at both terminals and services sponsored by Illinois between St. Louis and Chicago.

“Our valued relationship with MoDOT goes back to 1979 and we look forward to improving the already reliable service by the debut of new U.S.-made Amtrak Midwest railcars on this route later this year,” Amtrak Vice President for state-sponsored services Ray Land said.

Ticketing is available for both Missouri round-trip train services beginning July 19.

Individuals can purchase tickets on, Amtrak’s mobile apps, by calling 800-USA-RAIL, or by visiting the staffed ticket windows at the Amtrak stations in St. Louis and Kansas City.

Customers are encouraged to use the capacity indicator at the time of booking, showing each train’s seating availability, which is available through departure times. If bookings exceed comfort levels, customers can change their ticket without incurring a fee. However, a fare difference may apply.

Per federal law and Amtrak policy, all customers and employees must wear a face mask or covering that fully covers the entire mouth and nose, fits snugly against the side of the face, and secures under the chin at all times while onboard and in stations.