Hannibal Amtrak station in the works

Hannibal is now one step closer to opening an Amtrak station downtown. Beau Hicks with Hannibal's Convention and Visitors Bureau says the price for an initial study dropped drastically from $50,000 to $5,000.

State Senator Wes Shoemyer announced his pledge to get MODOT's support for state funding. That money will be matched with federal dollars coming in for the project.

Click here to read a press release regarding Senator Wes Shoemyer's support.

Beau Hicks says if Amtrak comes to Hannibal, there's a good chance it won't stop there.

"What Amtrak told me was, don't just think Chicago to Hannibal, think onto St. Louis. So this would be extending the line through Quincy to Hannibal. Ten years down the road, perhaps St. Louis. But our first goal is that 14-mile stretch between Taylor, Missouri to Hannibal," said Beau Hicks.

The city's collected 2000 signatures from locals who want the train station. Many are business owners who couldn't be happier about the new development.

"This is going to be very important for downtown business. Any opportunity we've got to bring in more customers, the opportunity to come and visit Hannibal, see the sites is going to be so convenient.When they get off the train, they're going to be right in the middle of downtown Hannibal with restaurants and B&B's. This is going to be very good for us," said Steve Ayers, owner of Java Jive and Ayres Pottery in Hannibal.

"The best thing about this is that the community has full force behind it. We have the resources many communities would have to come up with. We have a place where people can get off, we have parking lots, the rail's already there. And it certainly makes a lot of sense for Hannibal to be a destination spot for economic development, for tourism," said Missouri Senator Wes Shoemyer.

Hicks says the city Is looking at finishing the initial study by the end of winter.