Amtrak Missouri River Runner Train: A Complete Rider Guide

Amtrak operates the Missouri River Runner, a 283-mile (455-kilometer) passenger train service in Missouri between Gateway Transportation Center in St. Louis and Union Station in Kansas City. The eastern section of the route mostly follows the Missouri River’s right bank.

The Missouri River Runner was first launched in 1980 as the Kansas City Mule and St. Louis Mule, and it was given its present name in 2009. As of 2023, there are two daily round excursions between Kansas City and St. Louis, one continuing north to Chicago Union Station as a Lincoln Service train. These services are offered under the Amtrak Midwest brand.

How to purchase Amtrak Missouri River Runner Train tickets? (online, phone, station)

How to purchase Amtrak Missouri River Runner Train tickets (online, phone, station)

Online: 

This is the most convenient option. Visit the Amtrak website [https://www.amtrak.com/] and follow these steps:

  • Select “St. Louis” and “Kansas City” (or your desired origin and destination) as your starting and ending points.
  • Choose your travel date and click “Search.”
  • Select the “Missouri River Runner” train from the search results.
  • Choose your preferred seating class (coach or business class) and continue to the checkout process.
  • You can create an Amtrak account for easier booking and management of your reservations.

Phone: 

Call the Amtrak national call center at 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).

  • Have your travel dates and desired route ready.
  • The Amtrak representative can guide you through the purchase process and answer any questions you might have.

Station: 

Tickets can also be purchased in person at any Amtrak station, including the St. Louis Gateway Transportation Center and Kansas City Union Station.

  • Locate the ticketing counter and inform the agent of your desired route and travel date.
  • This option might involve waiting in line, so consider it if you prefer in-person interaction or have specific questions about ticket options at the station.

Fare Explanation: Coach vs. Business Class & Discounts

Coach vs. Business Class:

Here’s a table for fare options for the Missouri River Runner:

FeatureCoach ClassBusiness Class
Seat ComfortReclining seatsMore spacious seats, extra legroom
AmenitiesRestrooms, Wi-Fi (varies), cafe carRestrooms, Wi-Fi, dedicated car with attendant, complimentary non-alcoholic beverages
RefundabilityLimitedTypically fully refundable (restrictions may apply)
Guest Rewards PointsStandard25% bonus points
PriceLowerHigher

Discounts:

Amtrak offers various discounts to reduce your fare. Here are some common options:

DiscountDescription
Senior (Age 65+)Discounted fares for passengers aged 65 and over
StudentDiscounted fares for verified students
AAADiscounted fares for AAA members
Auto TrainPotential discount when combining train travel with car transport via Amtrak Auto Train
Promotional FaresSpecial fares offered occasionally for specific routes or travel dates

Schedule Highlights

  • The travel duration between St. Louis and Kansas City is around 5.5 hours.
  • The trip from St. Louis to Jefferson City takes around 2.5 hours.
  • It takes more than three hours to go from Kansas City to Jefferson City.
  • Trains leave St. Louis and Kansas City in the mornings and afternoons.
  • Visit Amtrak.com to get the most recent schedules and timetables.

Stations and Stops

Missouri river runner train Stations and Stops

Stations

Popular Stops

  • Kansas City
  • Independence
  • Jefferson City
  • Hermann
  • St. Louis

Popular Destination Along the Route

Here are some of the popular destinations along the Missouri River Runner route:

CityDescription
Kansas City, MOLargest city on the route, known for jazz music, barbecue, and fountains.
Independence, MOHome of President Harry S. Truman and the starting point of the Oregon Trail.
Hermann, MOGerman settlement is known for wineries and its annual Wurstfest celebration.
Jefferson City, MOCapital of Missouri, home to the Missouri State Capitol building and Lewis and Clark Monument.
St. Louis, MOLargest city on the eastern end of the route, known for Gateway Arch, Saint Louis Zoo, and City Museum.
Marysville, KSHome to the world’s largest ball of twine and the Emmett Kelly Museum.
Boonville, MOHistoric town known for its architecture and Daniel Boone Home.
Washington, MOWine country with beautiful scenery and historic wineries.

Most popular Amtrak Missouri River Runner routes

Most popular Amtrak Missouri River Runner routes

The most popular route for Amtrak Missouri River Runner is the train from Lee’s Summit to St. Louis. Trips from St. Louis to Kansas City and Kirkwood to Kansas City are also quite common.

Top Amtrak Missouri River Runner Routes

RouteDaily TripsDurationPrice
Lee’s Summit to St Louis15h 4m$35
St Louis to Kansas City15h 40m$35
Kirkwood to Kansas City15h 11m$31
St Louis to Jefferson City12h 25m$24
Kirkwood to Hermann11h 6m$17
Hermann to Kansas City14h 5m$32
Jefferson City to Kansas City13h 15m$28
Warrensburg to Kansas City11h 34m$14
Hermann to Lee’s Summit13h 18m$31

Onboard Experience

Seating options

Coach Class Seat

Coach class is available on all Amtrak trains and has wide, reclining seats with plenty of legroom, no middle seat option, at-seat trays, reading lamps, and power outlets. There are restrooms in each vehicle. Amtrak Guest Rewards customers who travel in Coach get 2 points per dollar spent.

Business Class Seat

Enjoy the unique benefits of riding in Business Class, a premium, upgraded experience available on most corridor trains throughout the Amtrak system. Specific amenities vary per route, but Business Class provides increased legroom, a wide and comfy seat, and a complimentary non-alcoholic beverage (not available in Acela Business Class). Seat selection is available on several routes in the Northeast, allowing for a smoother boarding experience and eliminating the worry of locating a seat. In addition, Business Class travelers get a 25% bonus on Amtrak Guest Rewards points.

Amenities

The Missouri River Runner offers a comfortable journey with several amenities to enhance your travel experience:

Wi-Fi: To keep its customers connected while traveling, Amtrak provides basic WiFi connectivity in certain terminals and trains around the nation. Stay working or just relax and enjoy the journey to your destination. 

Cafe Car Service: Most Amtrak lines, including the Missouri River Runner, provide cafe service, with a selection of meals, snacks, and drinks for sale. Customers of all service levels are welcome to visit the Cafe, which is open from early morning to late night.

Restrooms: Convenient restrooms are available on all Missouri River Runner trains. Some cars are also equipped with accessible restrooms for passengers with disabilities.

Accessible Features: Amtrak is committed to accessible travel. Their website provides information on features available on trains and at stations to ensure a comfortable journey for everyone, including:

  • Designated accessible coach seats for passengers with mobility limitations.
  • Wheelchair lifts on all trains for easy boarding and disembarking.
  • Accessible restrooms for added convenience.
  • Service animals are welcome onboard to accompany passengers with disabilities.

If you have specific accessibility needs, it’s always recommended to check with Amtrak in advance to ensure a smooth and enjoyable travel experience.

Permitted Items on the Missouri River Runner

Here’s a breakdown of permitted items and any restrictions or fees associated with them:

Bicycles:

Not permitted on the Missouri River Runner train.

Pets:

Amtrak offers a pet program on certain routes, but the Missouri River Runner is not currently included. You can check if your desired travel route allows pets at https://www.amtrak.com/pets.

General Permitted Items:

  • Carry-on luggage: Two carry-on bags (maximum weight 50 lbs each) and one personal item (purse, backpack, etc.) are allowed per passenger.
  • Checked baggage: Amtrak offers checked baggage service for an additional fee. Check their website https://www.amtrak.com/checked-baggage for current rates and size limitations.
  • Food and beverages: You can bring your food and non-alcoholic beverages onboard for consumption during your trip.

General Tips:

  • Always check with Amtrak directly for the latest information on permitted items and any updates to their policies.
  • Be sure to pack light as overhead storage space can be limited.

Contact information for Amtrak 

Contact information for Amtrak 

Here are the different ways you can contact Amtrak:

Phone:

  • Reservations & Customer Service: 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245)
  • TTY: 1-800-523-6590 (for hearing impaired)
  • International Visitors: 1-215-856-7924
  • Group Travel Requests: 1-800-872-1477
  • Amtrak Guest Rewards: 1-800-307-5000
  • Amtrak Vacations: 1-800-AMTRAK-2 (1-800-268-7252)

Website: You can submit an email inquiry through the Amtrak website’s Contact Us page https://www.amtrak.com/contact-us.

Amtrak Headquarters: (for general inquiries)

  • Address: 1 Massachusetts Ave., NW. Washington, DC 20001

Additional Resources:

Helpful Phone Numbers and Links:
https://www.amtrak.com/helpful-phone-numbers-and-links

Resources for further information about the Amtrak Missouri River Runner Train

Here are some resources for further information about the Amtrak Missouri River Runner Train:

Amtrak Website:

Missouri River Runner Website: https://moriverrunner.com/contact/ – This website offers a different perspective on the train, highlighting destinations and things to do along the route.

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missouri_River_Runner – This page provides a brief overview of the train’s history and route.

Local attractions and events near stations: (https://www.nps.gov/jeff/planyourvisit/index.htm

(https://www.mlb.com/royals/ballpark)

FAQs

Do Amtrak Missouri River Runner trains have Wi-Fi?

Yes, Amtrak Missouri River Runner provides WiFi on its trains. Although most Amtrak Missouri River Runner excursions will have WiFi as stated, certain trains may not have it, and onboard WiFi may lose connectivity in rural regions. We urge that you bring a book or download a movie simply to be safe. Amtrak Missouri River Runner WiFi is typically best utilized for browsing the web, reading emails, and talking with friends; don’t expect to binge-watch your favorite program.

Does the train have power outlets or USB plugs?

Yes, there are power outlets aboard the Amtrak Missouri River Runner trains. You can usually find one or two outlets in each row of seats, so be a considerate traveler and check to see if your seatmate wants to charge their electronics as well. The onboard power outlets allow you to charge both a computer and USB devices using a USB power adapter, which is normally included with most phones and tablets.
Because Amtrak Missouri River Runner may sometimes employ replacement train units, not all journeys are guaranteed to include power outlets. We suggest bringing a power bank to charge your phone for any journeys longer than 2 hours, just in case.

What is the schedule for the Amtrak Missouri River Runner?

Amtrak Missouri River Runner typically has 23 scheduled train runs each day. However, the actual departure and arrival hours vary according to the day and route. 

Can you pick up a Will Call ticket at the station?

No, Amtrak Missouri River Runner does not provide will-call tickets. Purchase your tickets online and ensure that you have everything you need to board before arriving at the station.

Do you need an ID to board the train?

Yes, to board the Amtrak Missouri River Runner, you must produce your ID to an agent. Make sure you have identification from a government agency that matches the carrier’s standards. Alternative forms of identification, such as a college ID, will not work.

Do Amtrak Missouri River Runner trains have bathrooms?

Yes, there are restrooms aboard Amtrak Missouri River Runner trains. The restrooms are rather basic, with a toilet, toilet paper, and hand sanitizer. Most restrooms do not have running water. Please exercise care and hang on to a rail when using a restroom in a moving vehicle.

Are food or drinks available?

Amtrak Missouri River Runner delivers food to keep you fed throughout your journey. Make sure to have a credit card and some cash in case you get hungry.

Need to print your Amtrak Missouri River Runner ticket?

The Amtrak Missouri River Runner does not need a paper ticket to board the train. Instead, when you make your reservation, you will get an eTicket via email. You may show the ticketing agent this eTicket on your smartphone as you board.

Does the Amtrak Missouri River Runner offer any premium features such as extra legroom or movies?

Amtrak Missouri River Runner goes above and above to provide its passengers with top-notch amenities.
Do you find yourself squashed on a standard seat, or do you like having more space to spread out? You’re fortunate since Amtrak Missouri River Runner provides extra legroom seats. Because there is no standard for what additional legroom is, the extra space you get may differ across train lines, although having more is usually beneficial.

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