Amtrak's Southwest Chief is detouring in Kansas upon the threat of flooding along the Little Arkansas River providing some passengers with the opportunity to collect some rare freight-only mileage in The Sunflower State.
The passenger carrier is detouring westbound train No. 3 that departed Chicago on Tuesday and eastbound train No. 4 that departed Los Angeles on Monday over Union Pacific's former Rock Island main between Hutchinson and Topeka. Amtrak will serve the sole missed stop at Newton with chartered motorcoach.
Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari notes that the detour could continue for multiple days if needed. He adds that Amtrak would like to thank UP "for supporting these detours."
BNSF Railway spokesman Andy Williams says that the railroad was informed Tuesday morning of the pending closure of the Halstead flood gates by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. However, as of Tuesday afternoon he is unable to confirm if that closure has taken place. He says that the railroad is holding and rerouting its trains as needed and does not have an estimate for the reopening of the line.
The BNSF line is a former Santa Fe route.
Trains News Wire is awaiting additional information from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Kansas City District.