The Norman Transcript

Editorials

May 14, 2013

Northbound trains still just talk

NORMAN — The Amtrak Heartland flyer train began service from Oklahoma City to Fort Worth on Flag Day, 1999. Its inaugural run south marked the end of a 20-year absence of passenger rail between Oklahoma and Texas.

At the time the train pulled from the station, rail supporters said it was only a matter of time before trains carried passengers north to Kansas.

It’s been nearly 14 years and we are no closer to that goal today than we were in 1999. Studies have suggested the need to close the 185-mile service gap between Oklahoma City and Wichita, but getting states together to agree on funding sources has proven to be a slow process.

This past week, in honor of National Train Day, some mayors in Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma have signed a letter of support for daily rail service from Oklahoma City to Wichita. Such service would strengthen the I-35 corridor, which runs from San Antonio to Kansas City.

Officials said the Kansas Department of Transportation will contribute $3 million for Wichita to pursue federal funding for the project, contingent on Oklahoma providing $2.3 million.

The Heartland Flyer’s success could be helped with more daily runs. Unless your travel schedule is flexible, the once-daily morning run south and back in the evening is rather confining.

It has also been suggested the trains allow recreational cyclists to bring their bicycles on board without putting them in boxes. That was allowed until a few years ago.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Editorials
  • Call up National Guard

    We’re not sure it will help, but you have to hand it to Texas Gov. Rick Perry. He deployed up to 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to help secure his state’s border with Mexico this week....

    July 23, 2014

  • It’s only getting worse

    Conditions for children in Oklahoma were starting to look up for a few years, according to the annual Kids Count reports. Now we know it wasn’t getting better. The recession was impacting the rest of the country, dropping their scores....

    July 23, 2014

  • Noting a life well lived

    James Garner never intended to be a movie and television star. He just kind of lucked into it, he would tell those who asked. If you have the itch to act, get a good-paying job and spend your free time at your local community theater, he ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Recount that really matters

    Americans have been hearing a lot about Congressional elections, but there’s another one halfway around the globe that will matter far more....

    July 22, 2014

  • Runoffs get no respect

    The Aug. 26 Republican runoff election for the Cleveland County District 3 commissioner post is one of only 18 races on ballots around the state. Only two races are statewide — the Democrat contests for U.S. Senator nominee and state ...

    July 22, 2014

  • What’s causing these earthquakes?

    Much of north central Oklahoma has been experiencing about an earthquake a day this year. Statewide, there have been 2,270 small earthquakes so far compared to 2,848 in all of 2013. The question of whether oilfield “fracking” and ...

    July 19, 2014

  • Bankers and the pot biz

    It’s not a problem in Oklahoma — and probably won’t be for a long time, if ever — but bankers in states that allow medical and recreational marijuana have trouble dealing with marijuana-related businesses....

    July 18, 2014

  • Shelter petitioners face big challenge

    The debate over who should fund storm shelters for public schools has moved from politicians to the people....

    July 18, 2014

  • More jobs needed to boost economy

    Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s cautious optimism about the nation’s economy was reassuring to the stock market Tuesday. Yellen said the economy continued to improve but the recovery is not yet complete....

    July 17, 2014

  • Technology fights crime

    Cellular telephones are being used to solve crimes every day. Drivers routinely call in and report bad drivers, suspected drunk drivers or suspicious activity....

    July 17, 2014