KANSAS CITY, Mo. — All aboard — the Missouri River Runner has been restored to full service after lack of funding forced Amtrak to pull back on round trips across the state.

Twice daily round trips are back on.

This is the first time since January the Missouri River Runner is making its way from Kansas City to St. Louis in the afternoon.

People lined up to board the Missouri River Runner. With less than a couple of weeks of selling tickets, Amtrak said more than 100 people booked a seat on the train.

Amtrak has been unable to run two roundtrips from KC to St. Louis since January.

Amtrak spokesperson Marc Magliari said there wasn’t enough state funding for the second round to make sense.

“Continuing to run with overdue bills was a really bad idea,” he said. “So, the goal was to catch up on the overdue bills and to properly fund the train. Between the fair box and the state funding, we’re happy to say we’re back to running two round trips.”

A pre-pandemic study of the Missouri River Runner found the service generates more than $200 million in annual economic impact in Missouri.

It also supports more than 2,100 jobs across the state.

Bryan Fregeau was one of the first passengers. He lives in Jefferson City.

“It’s awesome. So instead of having to get a hotel in Kansas City, not being able to go to work tomorrow, it’s a huge difference,” he said. “Now we can get in by 7:30, be asleep by 8 p.m. and its just a huge, huge, huge help.”

Fregeau is from KC and loves to visit.

The resumed service gives travelers the opportunity to make day trips.

“Now I’m just going to be able to go back and forth a lot easier,” Fregeau said. “Chiefs games, Royals games, all of it.”

Magliari said restoring this route to two roundtrips is only the beginning. He hopes to provide service up to St. Joseph and Omaha.

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