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  1. #26

    Default Re: Oklahoma Passenger Rail Updates(non-HSR)

    Quote Originally Posted by catch22 View Post
    Not sure if it was posted, but there was a building permit for a structure to be built in the location below, for the Midwest City rail station for the OKC-Tulsa train. Technically in OKC city limits.

    I thought the City agreed to lease land at NE 4th & Sooner...?

  2. #27

    Default Re: Oklahoma Passenger Rail Updates(non-HSR)

    1601 N Sooner Road

    Accela Citizen Access

  3. #28

    Default Re: Oklahoma Passenger Rail Updates(non-HSR)

    $130,000 doesn't seem like a lot.

  4. #29

    Default Re: Oklahoma Passenger Rail Updates(non-HSR)

    The permit is for a parking lot and a trailer.

    Perhaps it is temporary, until a final structure can be designed and built. But the application is titled eastern flyer train station.

  5. #30

    Default Re: Oklahoma Passenger Rail Updates(non-HSR)

    Ah, I see. I skimmed over it. Maybe I should starting reading things more thoroughly.

  6. #31

    Default Re: Oklahoma Passenger Rail Updates(non-HSR)

    Press Release
    For Immediate Release

    Oklahoma City Seeks Eastern Flyer Meeting with Iowa Pacific Holdings

    Passenger Rail Oklahoma
    (405) 204-5801

    November 18, 2014

    During today’s Oklahoma City City council meeting, Ward 4 City Councilman Pete White indicated a desire to discuss the Eastern Flyer passenger train with future operator Iowa Pacific Holdings. Train and shuttle operation is slated to begin early next year. His desire was echoed by Vice Mayor/Ward 6 Councilwoman Meg Salyer and Ward 7 Councilman John A Pettis Jr.

    Referring to the preliminary design, Mayor Mick Cornett stated, “[I]t didn’t quite get to downtown Oklahoma City and it didn’t quite get to downtown Tulsa, so we have some work to do. If there is a way we can work with the railroad and figure out how to get closer into the Santa Fe Hub, I think it will really improve the experience.”

    City Manager Jim Couch agreed to set up a meeting at the request of Councilwoman Salyer. City Manager Couch said, “We’re happy to do that, we talked about that last week, and we will be doing that.”

    As designed, Eastern Flyer trains will only operate between Sapulpa and a depot at NE 10th and Sooner Road. Trains will also stop in Bristow, Stroud, and Chandler. Luxury shuttle buses will complete the final miles into downtown Oklahoma City on the west end, and operate between Sapulpa and downtown Tulsa on the east end. Additional shuttles routes are planned as far as the University of Oklahoma in Norman and Bartlesville.

    Councilman White made general reference to existing rail corridors, “[T]here are solutions on this end that could bring the train on in to at least Bricktown. [W]e ought to be thinking about that and working on it.” Councilman White continued, “I would like to encourage the company that is bringing it in… The cars have been delivered. They are pretty attractive... I just think it is something we need to keep on the front burner to try to make it work. It is going to be an interesting operation.”

    The for-profit, daily, multi-frequency Iowa Pacific trains will be hosted by the Stillwater Central Railroad. The rail line was sold by the State of Oklahoma in May, with property transferred in early August. The railroad was originally operated by the St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad. The last daily passenger train on the route was the St. Louis-Tulsa-Oklahoma City “Oklahoman.” It made its last run on May 14, 1967.

    Reference:

    Video of Oklahoma City Council Meeting November 18, 2014 URL:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tsH...RZ6V6F7EebBlbA

    Playlist: Fast Forward...
    25:11 Councilman Pete White
    34.59 Councilwoman Meg Salyer

    Eastern Flyer Coach Cars Being Delivered to Oklahoma City

    Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #32

    Default Re: Oklahoma Passenger Rail Updates(non-HSR)

    Passenger Rail Oklahoma
    !!! Breaking News !!!
    December 4, 2014

    Tulsa City Council Discusses Eastern Flyer Access to Downtown

    Rick Westcott, Chairman of the Tulsa Rail Advisory Committee (TRAC) and Tulsa City Councilor Jeannie Cue continue their marvelous work. The effort this time is for Oklahoma's newest passenger train, the Eastern Flyer, to reach downtown sometime following its introduction early next year. As reported by KTUL TV 8 in Tulsa, discussions are underway in order to determine how to make this happen.

    Downtown Train Stop Discussions

    It's been a long while since the rumble of a train full of people headed to T-town. "The last passenger service through Tulsa was in about 1967," said Rick Westcott, who served on the city of Tulsa's Passenger Rail Advisory Committee. But in a just a few months, it'll be back, sort of, as twice a day service between Midwest City and Sapulpa kicks off in the spring. And to make it convenient to get to Sapulpa...

    Read more of the story here: Downtown Train Stop Discussions - KTUL.com - Tulsa, Oklahoma - News, Weather & Sports

    And more related news here: Advocates Seek Downtown Station For OKC, Tulsa Passenger Rail - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

    TRAC is a Tulsa City Council subcommittee established to provide valuable information to the legislatively directed Eastern Flyer Passenger Rail Development Task Force in 2012. TRAC continued following the sunset date for the task force. The result of TRAC's efforts will be the long awaited commuter rail and shuttle service between Tulsa and Oklahoma City. There is a remote chance Tulsa Union Depot could be used as a stop.

    Evan Stair of Passenger Rail Oklahoma added, "It would be wonderful to use Union Depot, but the logistics are difficult. Major modifications would be required to the depot as the overhead concourse was removed sometime following the last time Union Depot served passenger trains. The best place for a waiting room would be the first story as the existing waiting room is used by the Jazz Museum and it is located on the second floor. Still, we believe that the financially beleaguered Jazz Museum would benefit though. However, some negotiations even then would be needed to work out logistics to satisfy all parties. Building a new multimodal station would likely be a better solution."

    Tulsa Union Station

    Click image for larger version. 

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    OKC City Council Discussion

    Tulsa's discussion follows on the heels of a City of Oklahoma City Council discussion last month. A similar effort is ongoing in the capital city to reach at least Bricktown in downtown Oklahoma City. Last month, Mayor Mick Cornett, Councilman Pete White, Councilwoman Meg Salyer, and Councilman John A. Pettis Jr. discussed the importance of getting the Eastern Flyer closer to the Santa Fe Multimodal Hub. A meeting with Iowa Pacific Holdings, the future operator of the Eastern Flyer, was proposed. City Manager Jim Couch agreed to set up such a meeting at the request of the City Council.

    Bristow's Polar Express Creates a Destination

    We had a chance to experience the Polar Express out of Bristow before Thanksgiving. We were amazed at how this community has embraced the service. "The experience is like stepping into a Hallmark holiday card said one participant." It would be fascinating to determine the positive economic impact the trains have already brought to this community.

    The marvelous efforts of Kala Varner of Premier Rails have spread like wildfire across the city. The downtown is alive and ripe with smiles and even some literal tears of joy. One can only imagine that downtown looks like in the days before the Turner Turnpike was completed in 1953 and Route 66 was the lifeblood of town. It really has to be seen to be believed.

    After a Full Days activities, the Polar Express rests between runs. (Photo Evan Stair)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The masses are waiting to board the Polar Express at Bristow's old Frisco Depot (Evan Stair Photo)

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    Evan Stair
    President
    Passenger Rail Oklahoma

  8. #33

    Default Re: Oklahoma Passenger Rail Updates(non-HSR)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid Burgess View Post
    I don't mean to sound snarky, but isn't this exactly what we've been told people have been discussing with the regional transit group? When we talked about the building going in on main street in Bricktown, the major push back was that that corridor was needed for passenger rail line that would go to Tulsa, right? it just sounds like these councilman are talking about it for the first time. I would have rather seen an article where the council stated that "we've been looking at the option of bringing passenger rail into Bricktown, and think it is a good time to move more earnestly now that the bulk of the service is in place".
    Who is facilitating these discussions I keep hearing about and is any councilor participating?
    That's not correct according to this, Sid.

    Plans for Bricktown garage clash with planning for rail transit | News OK

    Marion Hutchison, chairman of the nonprofit rail advocacy group OnTrac and a member of the Regional Transit Dialogue Steering Committee, said the garage could impede rail expansion efforts. The garage project, as proposed, would hamper efforts to use the Santa Fe train depot as a hub for any future commuter rail to Midwest City and Tinker Air Force Base, a line to the Adventure District in northeast Oklahoma City, and any potential high speed transit that might be attempted in the region, Hutchison said

  9. #34

    Default Re: Oklahoma Passenger Rail Updates(non-HSR)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid Burgess View Post
    I have no doubt that Marion and others know about the need for the corridor. I'm just curious about the council. I assumed that the council was more aware.
    I was referring mostly to your statement about needing the corridor for the link for the train to Tulsa.

  10. #35

    Default Re: Oklahoma Passenger Rail Updates(non-HSR)

    Quote Originally Posted by catch22 View Post
    1601 N Sooner Road

    Accela Citizen Access
    This is kind of over in no man's land. Seems like they could have come up with a better location than that.

  11. #36

    Default Re: Oklahoma Passenger Rail Updates(non-HSR)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid Burgess View Post
    I don't mean to sound snarky, but isn't this exactly what we've been told people have been discussing with the regional transit group? When we talked about the building going in on main street in Bricktown, the major push back was that that corridor was needed for passenger rail line that would go to Tulsa, right? it just sounds like these councilman are talking about it for the first time. I would have rather seen an article where the council stated that "we've been looking at the option of bringing passenger rail into Bricktown, and think it is a good time to move more earnestly now that the bulk of the service is in place".

    Who is facilitating these discussions I keep hearing about and is any councilor participating?
    Here's the deal. These are related but separate issues. Yes, transit supporters and city officials are aware of the importance of the Union Pacific rail corridor north of Bricktown and are committed to protecting that right-of-way for future access to Santa Fe Station, as provided for in the intermodal hub master plan. And yes, city officials are involved in planning discussions at ACOG for the development of a regional transit system for the OKC metro area. But those discussions and that future system do not involve intercity passenger rail between OKC and Tulsa. That's something that everyone has always assumed would only happen if the state and federal government decided to fund an extension of the Heartland Flyer Amtrak service. That said, everyone is aware that if that were to happen, the best route for bringing an intercity train into Santa Fe would be by way of the Union Pacific corridor.

    What this issue is about is the fact that Iowa Pacific, a private, out-of-state company, has unexpectedly announced that it plans to begin intercity passenger rail service between Sapulpa and Midwest City early in 2015. And that company has decided to initiate the service using connecting charter bus service into OKC and Tulsa instead of direct rail service into the downtown areas of both cities. That is a decision that was made internally and without consultation with city officials in OKC or Tulsa. In fact, OKC and Tulsa city officials were not even aware that the service was about to be initiated.

    So, the recent actions by OKC and Tulsa officials are the result of them being informed about the upcoming service and their desire to try to find a way to help the company develop direct rail service into both downtowns. I, for one, give much credit to the mayor and council for immediately recognizing the importance of this opportunity for OKC and instructing the city manager to try to make it happen.

    When ODOT sold the Sooner Subdivision rail line between Sapulpa and Midwest City to WATCO instead of BNSF earlier this year, it opened the door for Iowa Pacific to at some point in the future initiate trial daily intercity passenger rail service along the line. You will remember that in February of this year, Iowa Pacific partnered with WATCO (who was leasing the line from ODOT at the time) and offered 3 excursion trains along the line, which were highly successful. Those excursions also used charter buses to take passengers from the end of the line in Midwest City to various destinations in OKC.

    The Sooner Subdivision is a part of what was originally the Frisco rail line that ran all the way from Tulsa to OKC to Lawton. In 1998, ODOT bought the portion of the line from Sapulpa to Midwest City from BNSF because they no longer needed it for their freight operations. Unfortunately, BNSF retained the section of the line from Sapulpa to downtown Tulsa and from Midwest City to downtown OKC. In addition, the rail corridor north of Bricktown that runs east and intersects the Sooner Subdivision and BNSF lines was sold by ODOT last year to Union Pacific.

    So, the big obstacle for Iowa Pacific as it regards the Eastern Flyer service is that Union Pacific and BNSF own the sections of line leading from Sapulpa and Midwest City into downtown OKC and Tulsa. And negotiating operating rights for passenger rail with the major Class I railroads is a much more difficult proposition for a small private rail company than it is for Amtrak and the federal government. That's where the City of OKC and Tulsa, as well as ODOT, come in to play. Those cities and the State have ongoing relations and involvement with both Union Pacific and BNSF on numerous projects and are in a more favorable position to try to negotiate a solution to the problem. Even then, there's no guaranteed outcome.

  12. Default Re: Oklahoma Passenger Rail Updates(non-HSR)

    As predicted - once rail starts getting built every town, community, and neighborhood is going to be begging for service because no one wants to be left off the transportation network of the future. In short order even Heritage Hills will be making an effort to secure their place on the streetcar network. Of course, if Norman and Bartlesville get service how long until Stillwater and Lawton want service? On a related note - did anyone catch 60 Minutes two weeks ago about the state of America's transportation infrastructure?

    It won't take long until we have this:
    https://sites.google.com/site/okcrail/

  13. #38

    Default Re: Oklahoma Passenger Rail Updates(non-HSR)

    Quote Originally Posted by Just the facts View Post
    As predicted - once rail starts getting built every town, community, and neighborhood is going to be begging for service because no one wants to be left off the transportation network of the future. In short order even Heritage Hills will be making an effort to secure their place on the streetcar network. Of course, if Norman and Bartlesville get service how long until Stillwater and Lawton want service? On a related note - did anyone catch 60 Minutes two weeks ago about the state of America's transportation infrastructure?

    It won't take long until we have this:
    https://sites.google.com/site/okcrail/
    In order to succeed in developing future rail transportation systems, whether it's the streetcar, local commuter rail, light rail or intercity passenger rail, the public must be convinced that it is effective and worth the investment. Until now, the only rail service we've had in five decades by which to develop public support and measure public opinion is Amtrak's Heartland Flyer. Unfortunately, Amtrak's operations are a mixed bag.

    What we really need to kick-start our future is a new service that generates public excitement, economic impact and is viewed as successful from a ridership perspective. We thought the MAPS 3 Modern Streetcar would be the that first generator. But it won't likely be in operation until 2018. In the mean time, the Eastern Flyer appears out of nowhere and is now set to begin operations in early 2015. So it's imperative that we do all that we can to ensure the success of that service. And that means getting the trains directly into both downtown OKC and Tulsa. Because at this point in history, we can't afford to have it fail and become the "proof" that rail transit just won't work in Oklahoma.

    You can help by contacting your City Council representative and letting them know you support the Eastern Flyer and by encouraging them to work with those involved to get the trains directly into downtown OKC.

  14. Default Re: Oklahoma Passenger Rail Updates(non-HSR)

    Quote Originally Posted by Hutch View Post
    Because at this point in history, we can't afford to have it fail and become the "proof" that rail transit just won't work in Oklahoma.
    100% agree which is why we dodged a huge bullet when the original MAP rail project was scrapped. On the other hand, government funds all kinds of things regardless of public desire or effectiveness. Ultimately though walkability and mass transit will win-out because the alternatives simply aren't affordable or sustainable.

  15. #40

    Default Re: Oklahoma Passenger Rail Updates(non-HSR)


  16. #41

    Default Re: Oklahoma Passenger Rail Updates(non-HSR)

    I understand that the rail drops people off at 10th and Sapulpa Road in Midwest City. However, where does the rail drop people off in Sapulpa?

  17. #42

    Default Re: Oklahoma Passenger Rail Updates(non-HSR)

    It may start in March.

    Passenger train service may be rolling out of Tulsa by March, officials say - Tulsa World: Homepage3

    The train is scheduled to leave the station in March.

    Representatives of the company bringing passenger trains to connect Tulsa and Oklahoma City told city councilors Thursday that they are hoping to be ready in March.

    Iowa Pacific Holdings is planning a trial run for at least six months, with basic tickets starting at about $20, the company’s officials said.

    Abbey said the six-month trial run would determine whether the company invests more into the service, including costs to deliver passengers from downtown to downtown on the train.

  18. #43

    Default Re: Oklahoma Passenger Rail Updates(non-HSR)

    My wife and I live in Norman and we sometimes visit friends or family in Tulsa on the weekends. We're thinking this might be a less stressful way to go than driving ourselves. My wife is also not in good health enough to drive that far, so this could give her the opportunity to visit more often than I'm able to go. We'll be customers, at least once.

  19. #44

    Default Re: Oklahoma Passenger Rail Updates(non-HSR)

    Lots of obstacles with the mentality here:

    Work begins on California bullet train. Lucky us. | News OK

  20. #45

    Default Re: Oklahoma Passenger Rail Updates(non-HSR)

    Quote Originally Posted by Buffalo Bill View Post
    Lots of obstacles with the mentality here:

    Work begins on California bullet train. Lucky us. | News OK
    Yep. So frustrating.

  21. #46

    Default Re: Oklahoma Passenger Rail Updates(non-HSR)

    This thread has repeatedly reminded me of a video I saw a few years ago of rail action around the downtown OKC area in the late 60's, so I finally went back and found it. Lots of good shots of the Texas Chief, later known as the Lone Star, that we used to ride up to Chicago a couple times a year.


  22. Default Re: Oklahoma Passenger Rail Updates(non-HSR)

    I used to ride that to OKC from Wichita to visit family when I was a kid in the seventies. Even then it felt like a different time.

    Interesting shot of an under-construction Liberty (now Chase/Cotter) Tower at 5:15.

  23. #48

    Default Re: Oklahoma Passenger Rail Updates(non-HSR)

    Quote Originally Posted by Urbanized View Post
    Interesting shot of an under-construction Liberty (now Chase/Cotter) Tower at 5:15.
    I noticed that southbound train at the 4:45 mark because I saw the Southwestern Bell (now AT&T) monolithic beast in the background.

  24. #49

    Default Re: Oklahoma Passenger Rail Updates(non-HSR)

    This was all shot at various points between NE 36h and SE 23rd streets. There's a quick glimps of the old TG&Y warehouse at the very begining.

  25. #50

    Default Re: Oklahoma Passenger Rail Updates(non-HSR)

    I rode Toronto's Go Rail last night into downtown for the Raptors game and man does that get me excited for commuter rail in OKC. I just wish it wasn't going to take 10-15 years to be a reality.

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