NORMAN — Passenger rail service in Oklahoma was once a booming business. In Norman, the railroad brought settlers, sailors and students to our community. Nowadays, Amtrak’s Heartland Flyer stops here in the morning on its way to Fort Worth and back through in the evening on its way home to Oklahoma City for the night.
The train has its supporters and a cluster of dedicated riders who use it for basic travel, tourist trips and business. For it to grow, however, there need to be more routes and a way to go north or east out of Oklahoma City.
An “Eastern Flyer” route from Del City to Sapupa will make some test runs starting Feb. 15. Seats are reportedlyu sold out. Rail advocates want to make the subtle point that the state shouldn’t sell rails between Oklahoma City and Tulsa to private interests.
Four companies have bid on the 97.5 mile rail line. A minimum bid of $9.1 million was required. Any sale is premature until the state’s study of passenger rail service potential between Oklahoma City and Tulsa is completed in 2015.
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