TOPEKA (KSNT) – It’s not every day that members of Shawnee County, the Topeka City Council and the Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce gather together.

These groups met on Monday night to look for new ways to boost the transportation services currently available in the Capitol City by checking out what the railroad has to offer. Around 600 family members of BNSF workers were brought on a train ride from Topeka to Lawrence as part of the company’s employee appreciation special.

“We have a big employee base here in Topeka,” said Andy Williams. “It’s an important community for us.”

In addition to welcoming family members aboard, BNSF partnered with the Greater Topeka Partnership, allowing the Chamber to host business, community and civic leaders throughout the Topeka area to experience the railroad and show their thanks to the local community.

“Downtown Topeka has really made a big power back, and we’re glad to be a part of that,” Williams said. “We’ve sponsored pocket parks, contributed to the Evergy plaza effort, as well as the rail museum. We think Topeka is on the rise, and we’re happy to have a history here in Topeka.”

For officials, having confirmation that the realization of sections around Topeka is working, means a bright future is ahead.

“To know that the fly wheel is turning, makes all of the difference,” said Curtis Sneden. “There are a wide variety of voices moving towards a bright future all along. When the large corporate citizens join in the effort, along with our elected officials and various other important leaders, you feel like you’ve got some genuine momentum.”

The future is indeed bright, BNSF eyeing some future projects along Southern Topeka Boulevard alongside community leaders.