While the story has been brewing for about six years, Oklahoma has taken the next step to expand railway service in the state via Amtrak.

The Heartland Flyer Amtrak train that travels between OKC and Fort Worth has been surprisingly popular since beginning service in 1999, continually surpassing expectations of passengers and revenue year over year. Proponents have been asking for an expansion since 2017.

If you're familiar with the saga, you already know the progress this rail line gained in the first twenty years fell at risk during the Covid-19 pandemic, but it seems passenger numbers are up again, and in turn, so is the expansion conversation.

Tim Brown
Tim Brown
loading...

The idea is to connect the Heartland Flyer with another route up north in Kansas but in turn offer rail service to many small Sooner State towns in the process.

Amtrak
Amtrak
loading...

But the billion-dollar question remains... Will Oklahoma be willing to support this expansion?

While the Heartland Flyer has been a popular travel experience for Oklahomans traveling to Fort Worth, would it have the same appeal and encourage people to head towards Kansas?

It's all about the money.

Laser1987
Laser1987
loading...

Truth be told, my hometown would be along that expanded railway. I'd gladly hop on a train and head home at least once, just to experience it. While it'd likely take twice as long, it'd cost much less than paying for gasoline in my own personal vehicle.

The round trip from OKC to Fort Worth and back is just shy of $50 per passenger for the cheapest fare. If you're traveling alone or as a duo, the cost offset makes it a bargain.

If you have a family of five and you're headed to Texas for any number of reasons, even the cheapest tickets for all would likely cost more than just driving yourselves, plus it'll take half the time... but people pay for the experience. Especially around christmas when Amtrak runs it as the Polar Express.

The proposed route to Kansas isn't the only expansion.

While the expanded Heartland Flyer route has been the main talking point for the last seven years, in 2023 it's not the only route the government is considering.

In addition, we could see Tulsa and Eastern Oklahoma linked to Dallas, OKC linked to Tulsa, Tulsa connecting with the Midwest, and Western Oklahoma sharing a line between Amarillo and the expanded Heartland Flyer line in Kansas.

USDOT
USDOT
loading...

There was even a conversation about connecting Wichita Falls, Texas, and Lawton, OK to OKC on a railway that's already pretty well established and maintained... but the politician that spoke loudest about this plan has since retired.

Voice your opinion.

The Federal Railroad Administration is currently doing a study in which you can voice your opinion on the matter, for or against.

Click here to visit the study and let your thoughts be known, it's pretty far down the page.

denisgo
denisgo
loading...

Things Invented in Oklahoma

When people think about Oklahoma, they think of what they've seen in movies. Tornadoes, the Murrah bombing, maybe the land runs, and probably meth... our four mountain ranges are as unknown as the contributions Oklahoma has made to modern life. Here are some random things that were invented here.

The Best Things About Oklahoma

It seems we've reached a point in human history where the norm is to sit around and complain about anything and everything. Oklahoma is a sore subject on both political sides of the aisle. So instead of adding to the morose nature of being bummed, here are some 100% pure Sooner State things Okies can't help but think positively about.

Oklahoma's Top 10 Most Dangerous & Deadly Animals

Oklahoma is well known for having some of the most dangerous and deadly wild animals to be found anywhere in the United States. The Sooner State is home to several species of wild animals that could quickly and easily harm or kill you. We have it all, from poisonous snakes and spiders to carnivorous predators and everything in between. You'll want to be aware and avoid these dangerous and deadly animals if at all possible. Most aren't looking to harm or kill you but if disturbed or agitated will absolutely attack.

Check Out Oklahoma's Planned New Theme Park

American Heartland Theme Park is the latest huge investment announcement for the Sooner State. Slated to open in 2026 up in Vinita, it sure does look incredible from the renderings. With the project spearheaded by 20+ former Disney Imagineers, we'd expect nothing less than spectacular.

More From KZCD-FM