Heartland Flyer

Discussion in 'Amtrak’s Future: Member Ideas and Discussion' started by Radvlad, Jun 2, 2019.

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  1. Jun 2, 2019 #1

    Radvlad

    Radvlad

    Radvlad

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    Has Amtrak ever considered extending this line to Tulsa? And what about even further adding Tulsa to Kansas City or St. Louis? I realize that OKC is larger, but Tulsa is larger than many cities Amtrak currently serves.
     
  2. Jun 2, 2019 #2

    Chey

    Chey

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    There was talk of it several years ago but nothing came of it that I know of.

    https://www.kjrh.com/news/local-news/what-happened-to-passenger-rail-service-between-tulsa-and-okc

    http://www.tulsakids.com/October-2015/How-to-Ride-the-Heartland-Flyer-in-Oklahoma/
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2019
  3. Jun 2, 2019 #3

    Radvlad

    Radvlad

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    Thanks Chey! I appreciate the links.
     
  4. Jun 3, 2019 #4

    Seaboard92

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    They have even ran an inspection train or two as well
     
  5. Jun 3, 2019 #5

    F900ElCapitan

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    It would be nice, but to preserve the connection with 21/22 the arrival/departure times in Tulsa would have to be really poor. I’m also not sure what it would mean for crew duty times, as it would be nearly impossible to rest a crew in Tulsa with the shorter layover, which would mean having more crews for the whole service. Thus my guess is it would increase the cost fairly dramatically for a relatively short section.
     
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  6. Jun 3, 2019 #6

    PerRock

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  7. Jun 3, 2019 #7

    jis

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    Also, the Flyer can either be extended to Wichita or to Tulsa and thence possibly to Kansas City on BNSF, but not both. The push for extending the Heartland Flyer at present appears to be to Wichita. The OKC Tulsa proposal was for our old unreliable friends Iowa Pacific to run something, and I guess they lived upto their reputation. :oops:
     
  8. Jun 3, 2019 #8

    F900ElCapitan

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    F900ElCapitan

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    Today the only turnkey way to get from OKC to TUL would be to go up to Perry and get on the Avard Sub to TUL. Now from TUL, service could be extended to Springfield, MO and then to STL. But this wouldn’t capture a lot of population for quite a bit of rail running.
    If they were to run it to Wichita and up to Newton to a SWC connection, while fairly easily doable, you’d still have the issue of stopping in Wichita in the middle of the night. Then all that would be predicated on the TE connection and if the times would work to get to NEW in time for the SWC. Personally I think everything would have to work just perfectly everyday for the times to work, and we know how good Amtrak is at that.
     
  9. Jun 3, 2019 #9

    jis

    jis

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    Or they could extend it to Kansas City, thus not depending on the whims of the SWC and have more than one possible connection onward each day, albeit a roundabout one to Chicago if the SWC is missed.

    It seems to me that Fort Worth to Kansas City would be a self respecting corridor in and of itself even if the onward connections are a bit iffy. It would be even better if the Houston leg of the old Lone Star could be restored as an extension at the Southern end, making it an even better regional train connecting two significant regions.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2019
  10. Jun 5, 2019 #10

    bretton88

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    The only drawback is BNSF basically gave cost estimates that meant to discourage any extension from Newton to KC. To extend to Newton it was only 70-90 million in improvements needed, which is pretty reasonable. To go to KC, 450 million (!!). That's a big difference, especially to an indifferent/hostile state like Kansas.
     
  11. Jun 11, 2019 #11

    neroden

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    That sounds like fake numbers from BNSF, given that Newton to KC is double-tracked already. (Yes, I know there are a few issues with that double track, but not 360 million dollars in issues.)
     
  12. Jun 11, 2019 #12

    bretton88

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    As I said, it was a quote that seemed designed to discourage pursuing further service past Newton. A classic case of "we won't say no, but...."
     
  13. Jun 11, 2019 #13

    Eric S

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    I thought that Newton to just west of Emporia was single track, as well as most of Emporia through Topeka to just west of Kansas City. I also seem to recall reading (somewhere, at some point, not quite sure) that BNSF was largely utilizing directional running between Emporia(ish) and Mulvane (south of Wichita), with one direction running via El Dorado and another via Newton-Wichita. (I'm fairly confident about the single track, not quite as sure about the directional running.)
     
  14. Jun 12, 2019 #14

    neroden

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    I knew about both sections of directional running:
    -- KC-Emporia via Topeka or not
    -- Emporia to Mulvane via Newton and Wichita or not

    But I was assuming that a Heartland Flyer extension to KC would follow the directional running. I figured it would go from Oklahoma City to a station at Emporia, skipping Topeka. If a stop at Topeka was specified in the study, that would account for a large portion of cost.

    I also figured it would follow the directional running form Emporia to Mulvane as well, skipping Newton and reversing out of Wichita. You have to add the missing leg of the wye at Mulvane, but that's not that expensive.

    If the study specified station stops in both directions at Newton, Topeka, and Lawrence, *that* would account for the cost estimate. Then you might have to double-track the entire line through there, which is probably a good idea, but is expensive.
     
  15. Jun 12, 2019 #15

    Eric S

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    The KDOT study from a few years ago specified following the current Southwest Chief route between KC and Newton, then south from Newton through Wichita to OKC. Last time I looked (a few months ago), the KDOT study could still be found online.
     
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