Wednesday, February 26, 2014

UP, Missouri county reach MOU on R-O-W

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Jackson County, Mo., and Union Pacific have signed a Memorandum Of Understanding to transfer ownership of 19 miles of UP right-of-way to the county for future passenger rail use.

The agreement was publicly announced by County Executive Mike Sanders, who said, "What this does is make commuter rail for the first time in its history possible."

The MOU, announced Monday, Feb. 24, 2014, would spur proposals to establish a commuter rail line serving Kansas City and county points east of the city. Two right-of-way segments, one 15.5 miles in length and the other 3.5 miles long, might also be used for hiking and biking access.

Rail service is envisioned to connect with Kansas City's streetcar line, now under construction.

Jackson County would pay $59.9 million for both routes, roughly half the initial price sought by UP two years ago. Congressman Emanual Cleaver (D-Mo.) told local media he would seek federal funds to pay for at least a portion of the purchase.

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