Nicknamed the Show Me State, Missouri was instituted into the union in 1821 as part of the Missouri Compromise. The state is an important hub of transportation and commerce in early America through the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. The Gateway Arch in St. Louis is a monument to Missouri’s role as the “Gateway to the West.” St. Louis, Missouri, is abode to the Anheuser-Busch, the maker of Budweiser beer, and proud to hold the largest beer-producing plant in the country.
Missouri has bounding lines with eight states, most with Tennessee. Iowa stands to the north, Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee (en route to the Mississippi River) to the east, Arkansas to the south and Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska to the west. The state capital is Jefferson City. And the state motto is Salus Populi Suprema Lex Esto (“The welfare of the people shall be the supreme law”).
Missouri hosts two of the nation’s three busiest rail centers. Kansas City is the second largest freight rail center in the US, but is the first in the amount of tonnage handled. Like Kansas City, St. Louis is a major destination for train freight. Springfield remains an operational hub for BNSF Railway.
Amtrak passenger trains serve Kansas City, La Plata, Jefferson City, St. Louis, Lee’s Summit, Independence, Warrensburg, Hermann, Washington, Kirkwood, Sedalia, and Poplar Bluff. A proposed high-speed rail route in Missouri as part of the Chicago Hub Network has received $31 million in funding.
The only urban light rail/subway system operating in Missouri is MetroLink, which connects the city of St. Louis with suburbs in Illinois and St. Louis County. It is one of the largest systems (by track mileage) in the United States. The KC Streetcar in downtown Kansas City opened in May 2016.
The Gateway Multimodal Transportation Center in St. Louis is the largest active multi-use transportation center in the state. It is in downtown St. Louis, next to the historic Union Station complex. It serves as a hub center/station for MetroLink, the MetroBus regional bus system, Greyhound, Amtrak, and taxi services.
The proposed Missouri Hyperloop would connect St. Louis, Kansas City, and Columbia, reducing travel times to around a half hour.
Missouri is served with two major airports: Lambert–St. Louis International Airport and Kansas City International Airport. Southern Missouri has the Springfield–Branson National Airport (SGF) with multiple non-stop destinations. Residents of Mid-Missouri use Columbia Regional Airport (COU) to fly to Chicago (ORD), Dallas (DFW) or Denver (DEN).