The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) held a public open house to detail a possible project that would add a second main track between Lee's Summit and Strasburg. The route is experiencing capacity issues and currently serves four Amtrak trains and close to 30 freight trains a day.
MoDOT says the proposed construction of a second track would improve on-time performance and reliability for the existing Missouri River Runner route, increase speed in suitable sections of the corridor to improve travel times, provide a service to promote more balanced use of travel options in the corridor and improve freight movement within the corridor.
Officials will have several design considerations to deal with on the potential project. The corridor has five cures that would require a larger radius to accommodate higher speeds for passenger trains. The centerline of the new second mainline would need to be 20 feet from the centerline of the existing track, wood crossties would be replaced with concrete crossties and the rail strength would be increased. Additionally, culverts and bridges would be extended and resized to allow for adequate drainage and an access road for maintenance vehicles would be provided. The project would also require a large number of grade crossings to either be consolidated, grade separated or have their warning devices upgraded.
MoDOT has not identified funding for this project, but seeks to gain environmental clearance and complete preliminary engineering on the project with a grant awarded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.