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Thread: Oklahoma Amtrak Expac Updates

  1. Default Re: Oklahoma Amtrak Expac Updates

    Quote Originally Posted by baralheia View Post
    Nope, I didn't. Taking the train does not need to be faster than driving your car for the service to be competitive. That said, it also shouldn't take an inordinate amount of time, either, and Amtrak's timetable lists the trip as taking just shy of 4 hours to downtown Ft Worth. That's how much time I budget for every time I drive down there anyway - and that combined with the amenities of being able to relax, work, and eat on board while someone else does the driving for you is what makes it competitive. Eliminating these intermediate stops that account for something like 20% of annual ridership (if I'm recalling correctly) would NOT improve the train and would only shave off maybe 20 minutes of travel time, at most. What holds the service back is the single round trip a day with less convenient departure and arrival times - especially for those who may want to use the train to come up here from DFW. Additional round trip frequencies will do much to help in this regard.
    Obviously I very strongly disagree with that. Speed and convenience are what has to happen for an option to win over another. Otherwise, here in OKC we would all use Embark, and in NYC, everyone would drive. I have to be able to beat a car in speed and convenience for any MEANINGFUL portion of the population to make use of it. Enthusiasts are not that. For one thing, it goes to Ft Worth, so it's already got a ding against it. North Dallas (not downtown or anything like that) is where people go in Dallas most of the time. Frisco/The Colony/etc. If i dont have transportation once I get there, then the whole deal is off anyway. I'm not walking 5-10 miles once I get there. That infrastructure does not exist in the burb world of either Ft Worth or Dallas. Yes maybe I get a crappy bus schedule at bad hours and go somewhere or pay for an expensive Uber, but the bus takes time and will still only get me so far. And people are lazy and dont walk in the US. The Uber is gonna cost me both ways, more than it really should. So what's my reason for riding this train? What's my benefit, other than to say, "oooo, i rode a slow train between OKC and Ft Worth".

    Now if you get that train down there in an hour, well you're giving me my time back. That's a winner. But if you still take 3 hours and i have to work out transportation when i get there, well you lost before you started. And if that wasn't the case, you would see a heck of a lot more people using it. My argument is made every single day that the Heartland isn't packed like an India commuter.

  2. #27

    Default Re: Oklahoma Amtrak Expac Updates

    Quote Originally Posted by bombermwc View Post
    Obviously I very strongly disagree with that. Speed and convenience are what has to happen for an option to win over another. Otherwise, here in OKC we would all use Embark, and in NYC, everyone would drive. I have to be able to beat a car in speed and convenience for any MEANINGFUL portion of the population to make use of it. Enthusiasts are not that. For one thing, it goes to Ft Worth, so it's already got a ding against it. North Dallas (not downtown or anything like that) is where people go in Dallas most of the time. Frisco/The Colony/etc. If i dont have transportation once I get there, then the whole deal is off anyway. I'm not walking 5-10 miles once I get there. That infrastructure does not exist in the burb world of either Ft Worth or Dallas. Yes maybe I get a crappy bus schedule at bad hours and go somewhere or pay for an expensive Uber, but the bus takes time and will still only get me so far. And people are lazy and dont walk in the US. The Uber is gonna cost me both ways, more than it really should. So what's my reason for riding this train? What's my benefit, other than to say, "oooo, i rode a slow train between OKC and Ft Worth".

    Now if you get that train down there in an hour, well you're giving me my time back. That's a winner. But if you still take 3 hours and i have to work out transportation when i get there, well you lost before you started. And if that wasn't the case, you would see a heck of a lot more people using it. My argument is made every single day that the Heartland isn't packed like an India commuter.
    I won't argue with you if it doesn't work for you - you're right that there are a lot of factors involved in whether or not the train is useful for you and it sounds like your desired destinations in the DFW metroplex aren't areas that you can get to easily via Amtrak/TRE/DART. That's completely understandable. Most of my trips down to DFW in the past several years have been to go to events like conventions and concerts being held in and around downtown Dallas, so it has worked very well for me. DART works super well to get around downtown Dallas too. I've even connected with DART light rail services from Dallas to visit friends in Plano and Carrollton... but like I said, I know that doesn't work for everyone, because everyone's needs are different and not all destinations are easy to get to via rail. Heck, I've certainly made the drive myself sometimes when my destination just wasn't feasible to get to by rail, like going to IKEA. I'm also certainly not saying that I wouldn't welcome faster service to our neighbor to the south, but the realities of the equipment, infrastructure, and operational schedule for the Heartland Flyer just don't make that feasible at the current time - the train already goes as fast as it's allowed to go on the tracks we've got.

    The point is, while I think I understand your experience and where you're coming from, I believe your metrics for success are too narrow. The train will not provide value for all, but that doesn't mean it's not a worthwhile endeavor - it already provides value for many who may not wish to drive themselves (or may not be able to in the first place) and there have been numerous occasions where the train is full or nearly so. The speed of the train isn't hugely different than driving, either. The comparison to Embark isn't apt to me, because I could take the bus to work if I really wanted to (stops are conveniently very close to both my home and office) but it turns a 20 minute commute into an hour commute. The Heartland Flyer isn't three times slower than driving lol. And when you're not driving yourself, traveling anywhere even by airplane is still going to require figuring out local transportation at your destination, too, so that isn't a strike against the train in my book. But the biggest things holding the Heartland Flyer back today are that it only does one round trip a day, and that it doesn't connect all the way through Wichita to the Southwest Chief in Newton. The current schedule is really only convenient for people from OKC to visit DFW or to connect with the Texas Eagle for longer journeys. Even just adding one more round trip a day - a second northbound morning train that leaves FTW around the same time that the southbound morning train leaves OKC, and the same in the evening - would significantly increase ridership and allow visitors from DFW to day trip up here to OKC.

  3. #28

    Default Re: Oklahoma Amtrak Expac Updates

    Quote Originally Posted by bombermwc View Post
    Now if you get that train down there in an hour, well you're giving me my time back. That's a winner. But if you still take 3 hours and i have to work out transportation when i get there, well you lost before you started. And if that wasn't the case, you would see a heck of a lot more people using it. My argument is made every single day that the Heartland isn't packed like an India commuter.
    There's a lot in your post I disagree with, but when I take the train, I am able to work the entire time for 4 hours. When I drive, I work none of the time. There's your time back.

  4. Default Re: Oklahoma Amtrak Expac Updates

    Quote Originally Posted by bombermwc View Post
    Every stop you make, makes it take longer to get from point A to point B. Why not stop at the casino and Ardmore and Pauls Valley?

    OK Denton, that can make sense because it's where the 35's go together and it's the last big stop on the north side of town. But really the best way to get ridership here is to make it as much of an "express" as possible and minimize all these stops. The overwhelming majority of the traffic is from the main end stops. Anyone that gets on in Ardmore can drive to Ft Worth faster than the train is going to get them there.
    One way to compromise on this would be to have on-demand stops. For instance, a stop at say Thakerville Winston World Casino would only stop if there were pax to get on or off. This could be implemented at several stops along the route between FTW and OKC to help speed up the train. And, with 3 round trips in the works, we could make 1 train be a true Express train; OKC-FTW and FTW-OKC non-stop (perhaps the noon-lunch timing).

    Here's my thoughts:

    7:30am-11am OKC-FTW and FTW-OKC
    11:30am-1pm OKC-FTW and FTW-OKC nonstop
    9pm-12am OKC-FTW and FTW-OKC

    These would run M-Sat, Sun would not use the lunch nonstop. This would require 2 trainsets to work but would give us great service. With the KS extensions it would look like:

    12:30am-3:30am OKC-Newton via Wichita
    4:00am-7:00am Newton-OKC via Wichita

    and would connect trains to/from Kc and on to/from Chicago.

    This would be fantastic service and give us somewhat of HSR with the express runs.
    Oklahoma City, the RENAISSANCE CITY!

  5. Default Re: Oklahoma Amtrak Expac Updates

    That's a really good idea, Hot Rod. They should know if there are passengers to get on and off with their manifest. I guess in the old days they HAD to stop but today they don't. Great observation. That would speed things up.

  6. #31

    Default Re: Oklahoma Amtrak Expac Updates

    Quote Originally Posted by dankrutka View Post
    There's a lot in your post I disagree with, but when I take the train, I am able to work the entire time for 4 hours. When I drive, I work none of the time. There's your time back.
    This 1 million percent. If there was a train between downtown OKC and downtown Tulsa that took 2.0 - 2.5 hours, I would take it in a heartbeat and frequently. If it ran 2-3 times per day I could still plan to be in town when I needed to and could work or relax for the 2-2.5 hours instead of driving for 1.5. Sounds like a great option.

  7. #32

    Default Re: Oklahoma Amtrak Expac Updates

    My dream scenario would be to be able to get on a train in Tulsa and take it to downtown OKC within 2 hours and then get on a 25 min OKC Metro commuter rail train to Norman for an OU football/basketball game. Not having to fight gameday traffic and find parking would be a game changer for many people.

    Thunder games would be fun too but there would need to be a late train back to Tulsa.

  8. Default Re: Oklahoma Amtrak Expac Updates

    Well you better tell them not to stop at Sapulpa, Bristow, Stroud, and Chandler on the way.

    That also did make exactly my argument. You made it more convenient for yourself in that scenario. Of course that's a win. Are they going to build that? Well it's got as much of a chance as anything else. Even if it didn't beat on the exact time, it beat your time to destination or got so close that it was a wash....BUT since you didn't have to park/walk in Norman (assuming they build a station near campus...and i think that likely), it actually did beat it. I think that's the perfect example of when it would work well.....but keep in mind that this is a VERY SPECIFIC use-case. For the Norman use, it's only 5-6 times a year so that won't pay for the rest of the year. That whole chicken/egg thing I think falls apart in OKC commuter rail for sustainability, but we've beat that horse dead here. Thunder games do happen more often so you'll get a more frequent opportunity there. And downtown to downtown works in this case.

  9. #34

    Default Re: Oklahoma Amtrak Expac Updates

    Quote Originally Posted by bombermwc View Post
    You made it more convenient for yourself in that scenario.
    but you are the one who keeps making it inconvenient for YOU in every scenario. so fine, you won't ever use it. but that doesn't mean that it is unfeasible for others, just because it doesn't meet your use case.

  10. #35

    Default Re: Oklahoma Amtrak Expac Updates

    Quote Originally Posted by bombermwc View Post
    Well you better tell them not to stop at Sapulpa, Bristow, Stroud, and Chandler on the way.

    That also did make exactly my argument. You made it more convenient for yourself in that scenario. Of course that's a win. Are they going to build that? Well it's got as much of a chance as anything else. Even if it didn't beat on the exact time, it beat your time to destination or got so close that it was a wash....BUT since you didn't have to park/walk in Norman (assuming they build a station near campus...and i think that likely), it actually did beat it. I think that's the perfect example of when it would work well.....but keep in mind that this is a VERY SPECIFIC use-case. For the Norman use, it's only 5-6 times a year so that won't pay for the rest of the year. That whole chicken/egg thing I think falls apart in OKC commuter rail for sustainability, but we've beat that horse dead here. Thunder games do happen more often so you'll get a more frequent opportunity there. And downtown to downtown works in this case.
    You vastly underestimate the amount of people who travel either way on the turnpike everyday that would be interested in it as an option. There may not be enough currently to make someone take the plunge and do it without significant federal funding but there would be decent ridership if the trip was around 2 hours.

  11. #36

    Default Re: Oklahoma Amtrak Expac Updates

    I wouldn't mind seeing a company like Brightline in Florida, shoot I would be happy to see them start up the service between OKC -- TULSA -- KC

  12. Default Re: Oklahoma Amtrak Expac Updates

    Quote Originally Posted by PhiAlpha View Post
    You vastly underestimate the amount of people who travel either way on the turnpike everyday that would be interested in it as an option. There may not be enough currently to make someone take the plunge and do it without significant federal funding but there would be decent ridership if the trip was around 2 hours.
    If that's the case, why don't we have it yet? It's been talked about in Oklahoma since the 90's. They barely have the pool lots. If there was such a demand, someone would be making money on this already. You may not agree with me, but so far the players required, seem to. Commuter rail has had most communities pull out. There's still no OKC/TUL line. The Heartland Flyer continues to require a subsidy to stay in operation. There's a lot of evidence that shows i'm not just full of it guys.....

  13. #38

    Default Re: Oklahoma Amtrak Expac Updates

    Quote Originally Posted by PhiAlpha View Post
    You vastly underestimate the amount of people who travel either way on the turnpike everyday that would be interested in it as an option. There may not be enough currently to make someone take the plunge and do it without significant federal funding but there would be decent ridership if the trip was around 2 hours.
    While I'm 100% in support of a train to Tulsa, reasonable trip times may end up being a big hurdle to success. The Stillwater Central Railroad owns and operates this line, known as the Sooner Subdivision, and currently maintains the line to FRA Class III conditions - allowing a maximum permissible speed of 60mph for passenger trains. Only about 120 track miles separate downtown Tulsa from downtown OKC, however the Sooner Sub contains quite a few curves that require trains to slow down so they can't operate at maximum speed across the majority of the route - unlike BNSF's Red Rock Subdivision line that the Heartland Flyer uses to get to Fort Worth.

    In 1959, predecessor railroad St. Louis–San Francisco Railway - a.k.a. the Frisco - operated two trains over this route: the Will Rogers (which made regular stops in Tulsa, Sapulpa, Bristow, Chandler, and OKC, with additional intermediate whistle stops on request only) and the Meteor (which was an express train with whistle stops only in Sapulpa, Bristow, and Chandler). The Will Rogers was scheduled to take 3 hours to complete the trip from downtown to downtown, and the Meteor only saved 10 minutes off that according to this old Frisco timetable (see "Table 6" on page 10 of that PDF) - making for an average speed of between 40-45mph.

    Testing with modern equipment would be needed to see what trip times would actually look like under today's conditions... but based on what I've found, I think it's likely that the route would require expensive upgrades to track condition and straightening to bypass slow curves in order to cut trip times down. Maybe a real railroader like Mott has some real insight on what this line would need to make sure one-way trips aren't 3 hours. I mean, I personally am still willing to ride a 3 hour train to Tulsa, but I am fairly sure I'm in the minority there - I agree with you that it probably needs to be in the neighborhood of 2 hours to be a real success.

  14. #39

    Default Re: Oklahoma Amtrak Expac Updates

    Quote Originally Posted by bombermwc View Post
    If that's the case, why don't we have it yet? It's been talked about in Oklahoma since the 90's. They barely have the pool lots. If there was such a demand, someone would be making money on this already. You may not agree with me, but so far the players required, seem to. Commuter rail has had most communities pull out. There's still no OKC/TUL line. The Heartland Flyer continues to require a subsidy to stay in operation. There's a lot of evidence that shows i'm not just full of it guys.....
    For all three of these, the barriers to entry are high. The RTA will need to implement an additional tax to fund operations, and building out actual service will very likely require double-tracking multiple segments of the Edmond-Norman corridor to ensure consistent, timely service. For the "Eastern Flyer" to Tulsa, track improvements to the line - as well as an additional connector track to get trains up to the platform at Santa Fe Station in OKC - will be required. For the Heartland Flyer, additional frequencies are needed to make the service convenient for all in both directions, instead of just for people looking to go down to DFW for a day or two. That requires at least one additional trainset. This is not a complete list, and these problems are not insurmountable, but solutions for all are expensive and the capital hasn't been there to make it happen yet. The federal funding under the Biden infrastructure bill that Amtrak wants to use for expansion will do much to improve the Heartland Flyer's service, and that should hopefully have some spillover effects on the planned commuter rail service too.

  15. #40

    Default Re: Oklahoma Amtrak Expac Updates

    There's some interesting stuff here if you don't mind digging through PDFs for a while: https://fralongdistancerailstudy.org/meeting-materials/.

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    Default Re: Oklahoma Amtrak Expac Updates

    Quote Originally Posted by baralheia View Post
    While I'm 100% in support of a train to Tulsa, reasonable trip times may end up being a big hurdle to success. The Stillwater Central Railroad owns and operates this line, known as the Sooner Subdivision, and currently maintains the line to FRA Class III conditions - allowing a maximum permissible speed of 60mph for passenger trains. Only about 120 track miles separate downtown Tulsa from downtown OKC, however the Sooner Sub contains quite a few curves that require trains to slow down so they can't operate at maximum speed across the majority of the route - unlike BNSF's Red Rock Subdivision line that the Heartland Flyer uses to get to Fort Worth.

    In 1959, predecessor railroad St. LouisSan Francisco Railway - a.k.a. the Frisco - operated two trains over this route: the Will Rogers (which made regular stops in Tulsa, Sapulpa, Bristow, Chandler, and OKC, with additional intermediate whistle stops on request only) and the Meteor (which was an express train with whistle stops only in Sapulpa, Bristow, and Chandler). The Will Rogers was scheduled to take 3 hours to complete the trip from downtown to downtown, and the Meteor only saved 10 minutes off that according to this old Frisco timetable (see "Table 6" on page 10 of that PDF) - making for an average speed of between 40-45mph.

    Testing with modern equipment would be needed to see what trip times would actually look like under today's conditions... but based on what I've found, I think it's likely that the route would require expensive upgrades to track condition and straightening to bypass slow curves in order to cut trip times down. Maybe a real railroader like Mott has some real insight on what this line would need to make sure one-way trips aren't 3 hours. I mean, I personally am still willing to ride a 3 hour train to Tulsa, but I am fairly sure I'm in the minority there - I agree with you that it probably needs to be in the neighborhood of 2 hours to be a real success.

    A few points, from 38 years on theATSF/BNSF, worked in the north yard (Stillwater Central). The line from OKC to Tulsa was 20 mph, and even if the SLWC has upgraded it any more, there are no signals, which would limit any passenger train to 49 mph. So at this time there would be no speed restrictions on curves. Would love to see passenger service, but the track will take a huge investment that no one will, or can make.

  17. #42

    Default Re: Oklahoma Amtrak Expac Updates

    Quote Originally Posted by Mott View Post
    A few points, from 38 years on theATSF/BNSF, worked in the north yard (Stillwater Central). The line from OKC to Tulsa was 20 mph, and even if the SLWC has upgraded it any more, there are no signals, which would limit any passenger train to 49 mph. So at this time there would be no speed restrictions on curves. Would love to see passenger service, but the track will take a huge investment that no one will, or can make.
    I appreciate the corrections, thank you! I've never worked on the rails - I just have always been interested in trains and their related infrastructure. I thought I had read somewhere that there were speed restrictions on curves on the Sooner Sub, but maybe that would only apply if the overall speed limit was higher. A couple of posts on the frisco.org forums notes that speed limits on this line (then called the Oklahoma Sub) historically were as high as 70mph for passenger trains - but that was in the mid 60's, back when the line was still equipped with ABS signalling and the track was kept to a higher standard of repair under the SLSF. And I had totally forgotten about the speed restrictions due to the line's lack of signals today - to be brought up to modern standards, those would need to be reinstalled and I think they'd also have to add PTC to the line too, right?

  18. #43
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    Default Re: Oklahoma Amtrak Expac Updates

    Quote Originally Posted by baralheia View Post
    I appreciate the corrections, thank you! I've never worked on the rails - I just have always been interested in trains and their related infrastructure. I thought I had read somewhere that there were speed restrictions on curves on the Sooner Sub, but maybe that would only apply if the overall speed limit was higher. A couple of posts on the frisco.org forums notes that speed limits on this line (then called the Oklahoma Sub) historically were as high as 70mph for passenger trains - but that was in the mid 60's, back when the line was still equipped with ABS signalling and the track was kept to a higher standard of repair under the SLSF. And I had totally forgotten about the speed restrictions due to the line's lack of signals today - to be brought up to modern standards, those would need to be reinstalled and I think they'd also have to add PTC to the line too, right?
    Back in the day there was a whole dept on the FRISCO (and all class 1 railroads) to oversee the passenger trains. As well as section gangs for track maintenance at regular intervals. When I rode in the cab on VIA between Calgary and Winnipeg (1979), the engineer said it was up to him to know the line and he was permitted to run a bit over the speed limits to make up time. He got those covered wagons (F9’s I think) up to 93 mph. Anyway not only the signals, you’re correct about installing PTC. Got to ride in the cab on Amtrak when I was working out of Ark City, and the engineer was constantly busy, with 79 mph max and all the speed restrictions on various curves, as well as speeds thru the many cities. Then the ATSF had automatic train stop, electro magnetic readers above the ties at every signal, and under the front steps on the locomotive, and if the speed exceeded the signal indication a brake application was applied. Had super elevation on the curves to enhance the speed on curves, and a track department that kept it all up. When Amtrak was ended, the super elevation and the ATS was removed. Like I have said, would love to have that back, but on the Tulsa line, it is a real stretch.

  19. #44

    Default Re: Oklahoma Amtrak Expac Updates

    Quote Originally Posted by baralheia View Post
    I appreciate the corrections, thank you! I've never worked on the rails - I just have always been interested in trains and their related infrastructure. I thought I had read somewhere that there were speed restrictions on curves on the Sooner Sub, but maybe that would only apply if the overall speed limit was higher. A couple of posts on the frisco.org forums notes that speed limits on this line (then called the Oklahoma Sub) historically were as high as 70mph for passenger trains - but that was in the mid 60's, back when the line was still equipped with ABS signalling and the track was kept to a higher standard of repair under the SLSF. And I had totally forgotten about the speed restrictions due to the line's lack of signals today - to be brought up to modern standards, those would need to be reinstalled and I think they'd also have to add PTC to the line too, right?
    https://oklahoma.gov/odot/programs-a...-programs.html

    This is a link to the states rail plan. It was pretty recently done. If you enjoy digging through pdfs this is a good one. It talks about the 2011 study about HSR between okc and Tulsa that was following the turnpike alignment for parts of it a little bit. I know that the State of Oklahoma also bought the tracking between Midwest city and Sapulpa from bnsf in the 90s or early 2000s and then sold it on to Stillwater Central RR with requirements that they bring the track up to 60 mph standards, show that a passenger train can be run on the tracking with a trial train and then establish a passenger service with service also on leased track to stanta fe staion and Tulsa union station (https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ipd/project...bdivision.aspx). The upgrades were done and the trial train was run on the route (https://www.oklahoman.com/story/news...y/60845911007/) (sorry for the paywall can’t find another good link) but there wasn’t ever service established. The deal was within 10 years I believe. So in 2024 the state might have the ability to claw back rights or buy back trackage and take bids for a new service or dare I say run a state service like New Mexico or partner with Amtrak if possible

  20. #45
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    Default Re: Oklahoma Amtrak Expac Updates

    Wanting to clear up some misconceptions about the SLWC track between OKC and Tulsa, made an inquiry on Sooner Rails Facebook page. A fellow employee still working said they took some rerouted trains due to bridge fire on the Avard sub, back in September. 20 mph with 17(!) 10 mph slow orders. This isn’t a judgement on the SLWC, just the facts. A passenger train, let’s get REAL.
    And the second problem for any passenger train at reasonable speeds, comes from a former lawyer for the FRISCO/BN. This line is unique in the angle NE across Oklahoma to Joplin. It has the most public grade crossings of any Class 1 RR In Oklahoma. Think about the BNSF north to south, roads only cross east to west. On the old FRISCO line they cross east west, and north south. A huge liability as a great many crossings are only protected with cross buck warning signs, not lights, or gates, that alone is a huge cost and liability.

  21. #46

    Default Re: Oklahoma Amtrak Expac Updates

    Quote Originally Posted by Mott View Post
    Wanting to clear up some misconceptions about the SLWC track between OKC and Tulsa, made an inquiry on Sooner Rails Facebook page. A fellow employee still working said they took some rerouted trains due to bridge fire on the Avard sub, back in September. 20 mph with 17(!) 10 mph slow orders. This isn’t a judgement on the SLWC, just the facts. A passenger train, let’s get REAL.
    And the second problem for any passenger train at reasonable speeds, comes from a former lawyer for the FRISCO/BN. This line is unique in the angle NE across Oklahoma to Joplin. It has the most public grade crossings of any Class 1 RR In Oklahoma. Think about the BNSF north to south, roads only cross east to west. On the old FRISCO line they cross east west, and north south. A huge liability as a great many crossings are only protected with cross buck warning signs, not lights, or gates, that alone is a huge cost and liability.
    Too bad they can't include new track as part of the I-44/Turner Turnpike rebuild

  22. #47
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    Default Re: Oklahoma Amtrak Expac Updates

    Quote Originally Posted by BG918 View Post
    Too bad they can't include new track as part of the I-44/Turner Turnpike rebuild
    The only way to have a high speed line would have been on the Turnpike right of way, in a perfect world. You think the turnpike authority would like that? And who could pay for it? Perhaps a landslide for Biden and the Feds would build as a demonstration of high speed rail in a non passenger environment. Been lucky enough to have ridden the TVG in France, Paris to Marseille. Really an amazing experience. Passing the airport outside of Lyon we easily passed a 737 coming in for a landing. And your glass of wine has barely a surface ripple.

  23. #48

    Default Re: Oklahoma Amtrak Expac Updates

    ^^^ the authority wouldn’t like that but that’s supposedly why we’re supposed to have a government that looks out for our common interests, not that only of OTA.

  24. #49

    Default Re: Oklahoma Amtrak Expac Updates

    Quote Originally Posted by Plutonic Panda View Post
    ^^^ the authority wouldn’t like that but that’s supposedly why we’re supposed to have a government that looks out for our common interests, not that only of OTA.
    Got me feeling more patriotic than ever with such a simple statement.

  25. Default Re: Oklahoma Amtrak Expac Updates

    Quote Originally Posted by USSOklahoma View Post
    https://oklahoma.gov/odot/programs-a...-programs.html

    This is a link to the states rail plan. It was pretty recently done. If you enjoy digging through pdfs this is a good one. It talks about the 2011 study about HSR between okc and Tulsa that was following the turnpike alignment for parts of it a little bit. I know that the State of Oklahoma also bought the tracking between Midwest city and Sapulpa from bnsf in the 90s or early 2000s and then sold it on to Stillwater Central RR with requirements that they bring the track up to 60 mph standards, show that a passenger train can be run on the tracking with a trial train and then establish a passenger service with service also on leased track to stanta fe staion and Tulsa union station (https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ipd/project...bdivision.aspx). The upgrades were done and the trial train was run on the route (https://www.oklahoman.com/story/news...y/60845911007/) (sorry for the paywall can’t find another good link) but there wasn’t ever service established. The deal was within 10 years I believe. So in 2024 the state might have the ability to claw back rights or buy back trackage and take bids for a new service or dare I say run a state service like New Mexico or partner with Amtrak if possible
    So that's not looking good for that line. If all this has been done and there's still not activity on the line, well i bet the state pulls this back as a failure to complete the deal.

    I'm not blind to know that there's more to it than just the line, but even with the hard work being done here, we still haven't gotten this done. I say again, if there was money to be made here, someone would already be making it.

    Take a look at the BILLIONS that have been spent in California on their LA to SFO line. It's still a shadow of what it should be and it had everything going for it to be successful. Demand, the ability to beat a car by hours (and actually still beat the airplane when you consider security/wait times/etc and not just flight time). It's been what, 10 years, and they aren't really any closer to getting something with that high of a demand and population density going. It was going to have oodles of stops on the way, but being a bullet train, sill was going to make the trip in 2 hours. California is difficult to do any sort of business in so it's not apples to apples. But that also does not make this look good for OK's possibilities.

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