The KC area, at least as it is visible from the train, is a typical older mid-Western city, with decaying industries in the areas near downtown, surrounding the gleaming new high-rise buildings in downtown itself. Both the river bottoms and the downtown are to the north of the train as it passes through the KC station area.
Through trains from the former Santa Fe line use a flyover that leaves the south side of the main line alongside the Kansas River, with Metropolitan Avenue on the other side of the line, and crosses over the subsequent junctions, descending before Southwest Boulevard. For the line along ground level, at the crossovers at Santa Fe Junction (MP 1.7/7.5), as the speed limit falls to 15 mph, the line ownership transfers to the Kansas City Terminal for the next six miles or so. The 2MT CTC line, heading east-northeast, crosses from Kansas into Missouri, turns east at a location where a freight line to the Bottoms continues straight ahead, and passes BNSF Crossing (MP 7.2), where the former Frisco line trails in from the northwest (and a flat crossing with that line to the Bottoms), and a grade crossing just to its east, the line passes beneath the flyover, and the former Frisco line heads south on the west leg of a wye. The speed limit rises to 20 mph before KC Terminal Yard (MP 7.0), where the east leg of the wye trails in from the south, the line turns east-northeast again, and the flyover descends on the north side of the tracks, and the line then passes Southwest Boulevard (MP 6.8), where the eponymous street passes below at an acute angle, Summit Street (MP 6.7), where the eponymous street passes below, several overhead road bridges comprising I-35, and crossovers at Penn Avenue (MP 6.5), adjacent to another eponymous overhead road bridge, where the line into Kansas City (Union Station) (MP 6.1) separates out on the south side.
The present-day Amtrak platforms are on the north side of the stately Kansas City Union Station, now a museum. In 2006, the Amtrak facilities are once again in the old station building, after a quarter-century in a prefabricated structure under a concrete road bridge (Main Street) at the east end of the platforms. There are currently one island platform and three tracks at the station. Across the KCT main line from the station is the KCT Broadway Yard. The station tracks trail back into the main line, immediately east of the Main Street overbridge, at the crossovers at Grand Avenue (MP 6.0), just west of the eponymous overbridge, where there is a spur, and the line expands to 3MT, McGee Street bridges overhead, and the line passes a signal bridge at Oak Street (MP 5.8), where the speed limit rises to 40 mph, just west of the eponymous overbridge, passes beneath the overhead road bridges at Holmes Street (MP 5.6), where the third track on the south side starts, and Charlotte Street, and turns due east. At this point, the line is in a cutting with concrete retaining walls, at least on the south side.
The line passes over a street below, beneath the three or four bridges comprising US 71, and then over the Troost Avenue and Forest Avenue underbridges, past the signals at Tracy Avenue (MP 5.2), where the eponymous street passes below, after which The Paseo and Vine Street pass below, turns east-northeast at Signal Bridge 16 (MP 4.6), which is bracketed off the south retaining wall, passes over the Woodland Avenue and Brooklyn Avenue road underbridges, over Olive Street passing below, signals at Prospect (MP 4.3), adjacent to the Prospect Avenue overbridge, passes the Benton Boulevard overbridge, signals at 18th Street (MP 4.1), adjacent to the eponymous acute-angled overbridge, beneath the several bridges comprising I-70/US-40, signals at Indiana Avenue (MP 3.8), adjacent to the eponymous underbridge, and rises on an embankment, over East Truman Road, past crossovers at Cleveland Avenue (MP 3.5), where the eponymous street no longer crosses the right of way, and descends to pass signals at Jackson (MP 3.2), where there is a spur on the south side, beneath the Jackson Avenue overbridge, beneath the acute-angled East 12th Street overbridge, over Van Brunt Boulevard, past Signal Bridge 18 (MP 2.7), Hardesty (MP 2.4), where the line turns northeast and the Hardesty Avenue and East 9th Street underbridges are adjacent to one another (with their intersection north of the line), and Independence Avenue (MP 2.0), adjacent to that street (US 24) passing below at an acute angle, with Wilson Avenue then alongside to the north.
The speed limit falls to 30 mph and the number of tracks from 3MT to 2MT at Signal Bridge 19 (Belmont Avenue) (MP 1.7), where there is an extra track on the north side, Bennington Avenue passes below, and the speed limit falls to 25 mph at Sheffield (Signal Bridge 20) (MP 1.4), where the extra track ends, the BNSF (former ATSF) line to Chicago (with Amtrak trains 3 and 4) separates from the KCT line, which continues on the south side, onto a single-track, CTC, flyover that carries it eastward from this point, across the junctions to come, and a connector to the Gateway Western line heads south, at ground level, joining that line as it passes beneath the flyover and crosses the KCT line at grade. After the line and flyover cross a drainage channel, the former MoPac double track line south crosses the KCT main line on the flat at UP Crossing (MP 1.2), with a connector from west to south, where there is a grade crossing and the speed limit rises to 25 mph, (with the flyover crossing all of this overhead), followed by KCS-Armco Xing (MP 1.0), flat crossing with two separate north-south lines, with connectors from the west to the KCS both north and south, (with the flyover crossing all of this overhead), and passes Blue River Yard (MP 0.7) on the north side. The twin concrete bridges of I-435 pass overhead, above the flyover as well as over the ground-level line, the latter drops to single track, CTC, at the east end of the yard, and continues to the crossovers at Rock Creek Junction (MP 0.2), where Amtrak trains to St. Louis turn away to the southeast on another former MoPac double track line coming from the west-northwest and crossed by the KCT ground-level line on a through-truss bridge, with the flyover still passing overhead on the north side of the KCT ground-level line. The KCT line has a connection east-northeast to the former ATSF line coming off the flyover at Congo (MP 444.2).