The Norman Transcript

Opinion

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
Opinion
  • 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

  • Change some lines

    Editor, The Transcript: Looking at how our elected Republican friends are reacting to the refugee children crossing the border and now being housed in Lawton, I have a suggestion. Let’s edit the Christian Bible in several places to reflect ...

    July 21, 2014

  • New health care system demonized

    To the Editor: In October 2013, soon after we were asked to take over management responsibilities at our family business, we were visited by the company’s health insurance agent. She explained that a decision needed to be made regarding ...

    July 21, 2014

  • Norman Forward builds momentum

    The quiet campaign to build momentum for a citywide public works project is beginning to attract some attention....

    July 20, 2014

  • The longer the wait, the higher the cost

    Editor, The Transcript: Thanks for the great article of July 3 on the Norman chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby group that recently went to D.C. as citizen lobbyists, working to get a revenue-neutral carbon pollution fee, refunded in ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Tax those trees out of here

    I read your editorial “Pesky red cedars” in the Norman Transcript of Tuesday, July 15, 2014. I have attended two meetings where the problem of the eastern red cedar trees was discussed. Because of the drought conditions in Oklahoma, we ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Make gun safety a health issue

    Quick, are you more likely to die by a bullet or in a car crash? Common sense would seem to suggest the latter. Cars are everywhere. We are an auto-obsessed nation. To be American is to drive — everywhere. Teenagers itch to get behind the ...

    July 20, 2014

  • They just want to be free ... maybe

    Massoud Barzani, president of Iraq’s semiautonomous Kurdistan region, rattled many cages this month when he announced in parliament that the KRG would be moving ahead soon on a referendum on independence from Iraq. If Kurdistan goes ahead ...

    July 20, 2014