Amtrak’s River Runner Running With New Coaches
Earlier this week I wrote that you can now hop on Amtrak's Missouri River Runner in Sedalia or Warrensburg and ride all the way to Chicago without changing trains in St. Louis. Additionally, Amtrak is running the service with Amtrak's new train cars from Siemens Mobility.
I saw the train with the new coaches at some point last week driving home to Warrensburg from Sedalia, but I didn't want to mention anything about it until I knew it was somewhat permanent. This afternoon it became Facebook official, as the Missouri River Runner Facebook page mentioned both the service change and that the new coaches debuted on the line on May 23.
So what can riders expect from the new coaches? According to Trains Magazine, in an article talking about the new passenger cars. Their "first look" from January showed off cars with wider aisles, slightly smaller seat widths, better wi-fi service, and even a train-equipped wheelchair lift. The trains also include automatic doors and stairs. Additionally, the seats provide better support in the lower back, and as the seat reclines, the lower cushion slides forward.
I wrote more on the new train cars that are now on the Missouri River Runner back in August of 2020 when they first started showing up in Chicago. You can read that here.
It's taken Amtrak some time to work out some kinks and conduct some production retrofits, so they're finally making it into service. I saw a couple of Amtrak's older cars on the River Runner with the new coaches that passed me last week. The Trains article mentions some cars with business class configurations and cafe cars aren't done yet. So consists will include Horizon or Amfleet cars until those are built, which may be what we're seeing on the River Runner.
As a train lover and someone who doesn't get to ride all that often, the new coaches along with the one-seat ride option between West Central Missouri and Chicago is something I'm definitely going to have to experience for myself!