The temporary schedules are designed to ensure Amtrak trains continue to operate without lengthy delays and avoid the undesirable option of stopping service and transferring passengers to be driven around the track work on buses.
During this time, Union Pacific Railroad will replace more than 22,000 railroad ties in the Sedalia area. Replacement of the ties is necessary to maintain schedules and safety.
"Without these improvements, Amtrak speeds would have to be lowered as a precaution and our schedules would be lengthened," said Rod Massman, Rail Administrator at the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT). "Completing maintenance on the track now will help ensure that the Missouri River Runner continues to run on-time."
Since installation of a sidetrack near California, Mo., was completed in November, the service has experienced a marked reliability improvement. Passengers arrived at either end of the route on-time or early 94 percent of the time in March.
As the schedule has become more dependable, more people are choosing to ride the trains. Ridership in March 2010 was 24.2 percent higher than it was in March 2009.Amtrak operates the Missouri River Runner service under a contract with MoDOT and with the support of the Missouri Rail Passenger Coalition, a group representing the communities along the 283-mile route.