View Full Version : Heartland Flyer to Wichita and KC?



kcsooner85
04-07-2007, 09:30 PM
If this has been posted already, then I do apologize...I ran across this on NewsOK a couple of days ago, and thought it was an interesting idea. I moved from KC about 3 years back, and love the idea of being able to get from OKC to KC to see family and friends on the Heartland Flyer.

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Fans seek train service northward

By Jennifer Jackson
Staff Writer

NORMAN A group of Heartland Flyer enthusiasts wants community members to send letters to the governor requesting state funding for an expansion of train services.

PassengerRailOK.org, an organization dedicated to the expansion of passenger rails in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, is working to convince legislators to extend the Heartland Flyer service north through Wichita, Kan., to Kansas City, Mo. The train makes one round-trip a day between Oklahoma City and Fort Worth, Texas. It leaves Oklahoma City in the morning and returns in the evening.

The group would like to see 1,000 letters sent to Gov. Brad Henry, group member Evan Stair said.

Nelson Dent wants train services to be extended north of Norman because he is legally blind and can't drive.

"We're trying to get Oklahoma on board to get it to go north, Dent said. "I could use it every day. It would allow me to get around.

Dent said it takes him more than two hours to get to Oklahoma City on a bus. By train he could travel to Oklahoma City in 17 minutes, he said.

Stair said it would cost the state about $5.6 million annually for expanded Heartland Flyer service.

John Dougherty, assistant division manager for rail programs for the state transportation department, said he would like to see a northbound expansion in the future but funding is unavailable.

"I would like to be able to go to Kansas City and Tulsa, Dougherty said.

For more information about the letter campaign go to www.Passenger RailOK.com.


....they really meant PASSENGER RAIL OKLAHOMA (http://www.passengerrailok.org) . Oh how I LOVE The Oklahoman! :rolleyes:

Superhyper
04-08-2007, 05:49 PM
Thats a really good idea, plus it would give us a much more direct route to Chicago or LA via rail.

Flatlander
04-08-2007, 07:58 PM
The route to newton,Kansas seems like a natural fit,but I would not think amtrak would create another line running through Oklahoma,IMO That makes no sense

jbrown84
04-08-2007, 08:29 PM
They've been trying to get this done for a while. Unfortunately, I imagine there will be a reluctance on the part of the state to award funding for a route that bypasses Tulsa.

Spartan
04-08-2007, 08:41 PM
This will not happen. Expanding the Heartland Flyer to WICHITA and not Tulsa is a stupid, stupid, stupid, did I mention stupid ... idea.

mranderson
04-08-2007, 09:24 PM
This will not happen. Expanding the Heartland Flyer to WICHITA and not Tulsa is a stupid, stupid, stupid, did I mention stupid ... idea.

...And you know this for a fact? Who are you employed by to know for a FACT Amtrak will not expand service from Oklahoma City to Wichita?

We need transportation other than by car to Kansas, and Amtrak is a great option since they could continue to other points from there.

Yes. We also need service to Tulsa, however, other cities as well.

Flatlander
04-08-2007, 09:26 PM
I dont see why the state should not fund the Heartland Flyer through Tulsa.I dont think the state should pay for another train to parallel the Heartland Flyer down to Dallas.Tulsa would be a good addition to the current route.Is Missouri currently working on its route from St. Louis to the OK state line,the state of Oklahoma needs to be ready when the time comes.

Spartan
04-08-2007, 09:56 PM
The state has done countless studies and a rail link between Tulsa and OKC is a GO except it just need funding. The day it gets funding will be a momentous day in OKC and in Tulsa.

There is nothing in Wichita of any real value so there is no reason why it should go through Wichita and not Tulsa.

Also it's likely that St. Louis will get the Tulsa link, and not KC. This is because ODOT will be reluctant to see a KC/Tulsa link through SW Missouri. Tulsa currently dominates the area from Joplin to Springfield as the regional city ... the state wouldn't want to take something away from Tulsa by making Tulsa/KC transit easier. A Tulsa/St. Louis link would actually give more access to Tulsa however, and would make it easier to connect the Heartland Flyer to the Chicagoland Amtrak network, where we can go to anywhere in the nation.

mranderson
04-08-2007, 10:00 PM
The state has done countless studies and a rail link between Tulsa and OKC is a GO except it just need funding. The day it gets funding will be a momentous day in OKC and in Tulsa.

There is nothing in Wichita of any real value so there is no reason why it should go through Wichita and not Tulsa.

Also it's likely that St. Louis will get the Tulsa link, and not KC. This is because ODOT will be reluctant to see a KC/Tulsa link through SW Missouri. Tulsa currently dominates the area from Joplin to Springfield as the regional city ... the state wouldn't want to take something away from Tulsa by making Tulsa/KC transit easier. A Tulsa/St. Louis link would actually give more access to Tulsa however, and would make it easier to connect the Heartland Flyer to the Chicagoland Amtrak network, where we can go to anywhere in the nation.

Really. Humm. you are wrong. You have major facilities that are in the aviaton industry, Western Uniform, Piper Aircraft, Carrier, Sheplers, just to name a few.

Spartan
04-08-2007, 10:12 PM
Yeah and then there's Boeing and Cessna, the main employers in Wichita, that are packin up and movin, splitting ops between Seattle and OKC.

Face it. Wichita is the next Dodge City. The only difference is that Dodge was once grand. Wichita is just an overgrown suburb of like 600,000 ... a suburb of its factories on the edge of town.

If you've ever driven through that place, I-35, I-135, whatever ... it's one of the most miserable places I've ever had to drive through. It makes Topeka look like BOSTON. Or should I say, Tulsa.

Which brings us back to square one...

jbrown84
04-08-2007, 11:12 PM
Really. Humm. you are wrong. You have major facilities that are in the aviaton industry, Western Uniform, Piper Aircraft, Carrier, Sheplers, just to name a few.

What? Surely you must have gone to their COC site to get that list or something. Sheplers???? Oh, yeah super important.

I agree with Spartan that Tulsa makes more sense, especially if we're talking state funding. Tulsa's a bigger city with more industry and business and tourism appeal, and we should be be supporting both OKC's major cities. Only way I can see a OKC-Wichita route is if Kansas puts up half the dough.

Spartan
04-09-2007, 12:08 AM
That would demand most of the dough and we should still oppose it for Tulsa's sake.

There would be about 3x as much of this Amtrak route in Kansas if it were extended to KC through Wichita, thus, Kansas should put up 3x as much dough if they want their Dodge cities included in this.

Deni
04-09-2007, 12:20 AM
The state has done countless studies and a rail link between Tulsa and OKC is a GO except it just need funding. The day it gets funding will be a momentous day in OKC and in Tulsa.

There is nothing in Wichita of any real value so there is no reason why it should go through Wichita and not Tulsa.

Also it's likely that St. Louis will get the Tulsa link, and not KC. This is because ODOT will be reluctant to see a KC/Tulsa link through SW Missouri. Tulsa currently dominates the area from Joplin to Springfield as the regional city ... the state wouldn't want to take something away from Tulsa by making Tulsa/KC transit easier. A Tulsa/St. Louis link would actually give more access to Tulsa however, and would make it easier to connect the Heartland Flyer to the Chicagoland Amtrak network, where we can go to anywhere in the nation.



This will not happen. Expanding the Heartland Flyer to WICHITA and not Tulsa is a stupid, stupid, stupid, did I mention stupid ... idea.



Did I read this right one minute a stupid idea then a momentous day???


OH MY HECK??

redland
04-09-2007, 05:35 AM
Well, I think he's saying a connection to Tulsa (and on to St. Louis) would make for a momentous day, while a link to Wichita (and on to Kansas City) would be stupid. Personally, I would welcome either. The total dismantling of our rail system after World War II was a mistake of epic proportions.

jbrown84
04-09-2007, 09:21 AM
There would be about 3x as much of this Amtrak route in Kansas if it were extended to KC through Wichita, thus, Kansas should put up 3x as much dough if they want their Dodge cities included in this.

Not really, since the only NEW routing would be from OKC to Newton, just north of Wichita, where there is already an Amtrak stop where you can connect to Albuquerque or Kansas City.

CuatrodeMayo
04-09-2007, 12:00 PM
and would make it easier to connect the Heartland Flyer to the Chicagoland Amtrak network, where we can go to anywhere in the nation.

That is assuming you're not in a hurry...

mburlison
04-09-2007, 06:18 PM
Looks like you could market the daily runs between OKC and Tulsa fairly easy (as part of the overall OKC to St. Louis deal).

(As a side thought, maybe on Bedlam game days lease usage of a rail and have some special cars going between Stillwater and Norman !)

I don't think the route through Wichita is necessarily bad, there is sure history there, but a OKC to Tulsa route would let them (from there) hook up to either KCMO or St. Louis or both. Either of those gets you to Chicago, which is what you want ($$$). In addition, I think you could market the scenery and stops on the NE Oklahoma, Missouri route much easier.

Kerry
04-09-2007, 08:27 PM
I don't think Amtrak will be able to keep up the national rail network. If it wasn't a political tool the whole system would have been abandonded by now. The entire nationwide system should be scrapped with funding sent directly to states to develop regional inter-city rail systems. States working by themselves or together could put in place a much better system. Any state not putting in inter-city rail between its two largest cities or between its largest city and a states neighboring system would forfiet their funding and that money would be divided among the states participating. Funding would last 10 years and then each state would have to be self supporting.

Here is an example of the regional systems:
Oklahoma: OKC to Tulsa
Missouri: KC to STL
Washington: Seattle to Portland
Oregon: Portland to Seattle
Idaho: Boise to St Lake City or Seattle
Nevada: Reno to Las Vegas
Florida: Tampa to Miami

Some states like Colorado could leverage their location to connect with multiple states with neighboring states paying more than half the cost to connect to Denver. If funding was avaialble then states could add additional cities or connect to additional states. This kind of system wouldn't compete with airlines in most states.

Amtrak: passenger train's future is in the balance | csmonitor.com (http://www.csmonitor.com/specials/amtrak/lines.html)