In 1988, the depot was given to the city of Pleasant Hill by the Union Pacific Railroad. Photo taken Aug 18, 2022.

August 20, 2022

By Cheryl Schifferdecker
Special to the Tribune

On Sunday, Aug. 14 at approximately 5 p.m., approximately 30 passengers could be seen with their luggage in tote at the downtown Pleasant Hill train depot, which has not typically been used for passenger pick-up or drop-off for several years.

Riders who had departed from Hermann, MO at 10 a.m. reported that passengers were told they could continue on the train, which had experienced extensive delays during their journey, or they could get off at Pleasant Hill’s Depot. The option was given in response to issues with freight train functions and breakdowns, snowballing to effect the Missouri River Runner passenger transit. Some passengers chose to remain on the train, but a few dozen passengers were ready to end their journey, anxious to dismount and call for rides out of Pleasant Hill. The conductor allegedly reported it was a summer notorious for freight train breakdowns, much worse than he could recall previously, causing long delays on the tracks. The train had been stopped for roughly two hours before it reached Warrensburg, MO. At least some of the drop-offs had a Kansas City, MO destination.

On the freighter side of the story, a large demand and a lack of trains to move the shipments is to blame. Supply-chain issues are stressing the reduced work force following severe cuts. The Grain and Feed Industry is feeling this issue, as well, with a dry summer and increases in demand.

In a nutshell, our rail network appears to be a bit overloaded.

On-line Source: Freight railroads work to resolve service problems, delays; Josh Funk, April 12, 2022