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
  • Inhofe to the rescue

    Oklahoma’s senior U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe is a hero to many rural fire departments this week. Sen. Inhofe brokered a way for the firefighters to continue receiving surplus military vehicles for firefighting....

    July 12, 2014

  • Thanks for 125 years

    Newspapers give soul to a community. They inform and engage readers. They entertain and sometimes persuade. They are changing, too....

    July 11, 2014

  • Court should apply brakes

    The Supreme Court is heading down a frightening path and should apply the brakes....

    July 10, 2014

  • Music and OU football game best choices

    The Huffington Post this week picked the Norman Music Festival as the one thing to do if you come to Oklahoma. The spring festival, started in 2008 as a regional concert featuring several bands, has grown every year....

    July 10, 2014

  • Landlines going away

    Will the telephone landline go the way of the pay telephone? That seems to be the case, according to a government study released this week....

    July 9, 2014

  • Walls coming down

    Pardon the pun but it seems almost criminal to some to tear down a jail built less than 30 years ago. But then again, public jails have limited uses beyond incarceration and they take a beating by the occupants....

    July 9, 2014

  • Getting out the vote

    Both sides of the state’s political aisle have been known to use state questions to bring out the vote in the November General Election. A cockfighting issue in 2002 brought out extra rural Democrats and helped propel Brad Henry into the ...

    July 8, 2014

  • Water rationing in effect

    June’s rainfall and cooler temperatures have been a blessing for central Oklahoma, but now that the summer heat has arrived and the rains have slowed, Norman’s water usage is climbing....

    July 8, 2014

  • Happy birthday, America

    Consider this: When the Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence in 1776, there were an estimated 2.5 million residents in the 13 original colonies....

    July 4, 2014

  • 11th most corrupt state

    Oklahoma, with its massive county commissioner scandal in the 1970s and 1980s, ranks as the 11th most corrupt state, researchers have determined....

    July 4, 2014