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Northern Flyer train would benefit economy

The proposed Amtrak Northern Flyer train line that would run through Wichita could yield a $3.20 to $1 regional economic impact, according to a new study by Jayhawk Consulting, a group of specially selected School of Business Master of Business Administration students at the University of Kansas.

The train would also likely pay for itself within a year, the study found.

“Overall economic impact shows a break-evenreturn after the first year with a continuing $43 million annual impact,” a summery of the study says.

Amtrak is currently studying the cost of installing a train line between Oklahoma City and Kansas City, with stops proposed in Wichita and Newton, where the Southwest Chief stops en route to places between Chicago and Los Angeles. But Amtrak’s study doesn’t quantify economic impact, said Deborah Fischer Stout, president of Northern Flyer Alliance, Inc.

The City of Wichita and many other cities in Kansas and Oklahoma have already given official endorsements of the route. But any action likely will hinge on Amtrak’s study. But advocates hope that support for the rail service in Kansas and Oklahoma will draw federal stimulus dollars to help pay for it.

A link to a PDF of the study is on this page.

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