The southbound Heartland Flyer at Ardmore, Oklahoma in 2007
|Locale||Oklahoma and Texas|
|Termini|| Oklahoma City, Oklahoma |
Fort Worth, Texas
|Ridership||66,105 total (FY16)|
|Opened||June 14, 1999|
|Owner||BNSF Railway (track)|
|Rolling stock||Superliner Coaches|
|Line length||206 miles (332 km)|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)|
The Heartland Flyer is a daily passenger train that follows a 206-mile (332 km) route from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to Fort Worth, Texas. It is operated by Amtrak and jointly funded by the states of Oklahoma and Texas. The train's daily round-trip begins in Oklahoma City in the morning and reaches Fort Worth in the early afternoon. It leaves Fort Worth during the afternoon rush for an evening return to Oklahoma City. As of November 2014, the train is scheduled at 3 hours 58 minutes in each direction.
Fort Worth is the 15th-largest city in the United States and the fifth-largest city in the state of Texas. It is the county seat of Tarrant County, covering nearly 350 square miles (910 km2) into four other counties: Denton, Johnson, Parker and Wise. According to the 2017 census estimates, Fort Worth's population is 874,168. The city is the second-largest in the Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington metropolitan area, which is the 4th most populous metropolitan area in the United States.
The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak, is a passenger railroad service that provides medium- and long-distance intercity service in the contiguous United States and to nine Canadian cities.
Oklahoma is a state in the South Central region of the United States, bordered by Kansas on the north, Missouri on the northeast, Arkansas on the east, Texas on the south, New Mexico on the west, and Colorado on the northwest. It is the 20th-most extensive and the 28th-most populous of the fifty United States. The state's name is derived from the Choctaw words okla and humma, meaning "red people". It is also known informally by its nickname, "The Sooner State", in reference to the non-Native settlers who staked their claims on land before the official opening date of lands in the western Oklahoma Territory or before the Indian Appropriations Act of 1889, which dramatically increased European-American settlement in the eastern Indian Territory. Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory were merged into the State of Oklahoma when it became the 46th state to enter the union on November 16, 1907. Its residents are known as Oklahomans, and its capital and largest city is Oklahoma City.
The Heartland Flyer carried over 77,000 passengers in fiscal year 2016, a 4.2% decrease from FY2015. The train had a ticket revenue of $1,828,486, an increase of 1.8% from FY2015.Total revenue for the train, including state-level subsidies to Amtrak, was approximately $7.1 million
A fiscal year is the period used by governments for accounting and budget purposes, which varies between countries. It is also used for financial reporting by business and other organizations. Laws in many jurisdictions require company financial reports to be prepared and published on an annual basis, but generally do not require the reporting period to align with the calendar year. Taxation laws generally require accounting records to be maintained and taxes calculated on an annual basis, which usually corresponds to the fiscal year used for government purposes. The calculation of tax on an annual basis is especially relevant for direct taxation, such as income tax. Many annual government fees—such as Council rates, licence fees, etc.—are also levied on a fiscal year basis, while others are charged on an anniversary basis.
After Amtrak's formation in 1971, the corridor was served by the railroad's Chicago-Houston Lone Star route, but that was discontinued in 1979 and left the state of Oklahoma without any passenger rail service. The Heartland Flyer was inaugurated on June 14, 1999, ending a 20-year absence of passenger trains on the route. First-year ticket sales totaled 71,400 passengers, surpassing Amtrak's original 20,000 projection.The Heartland Flyer carried 68,000 passengers during FY 2007. In September 2007 it had carried 500,000 passengers since its inception, and in November 2013, it carried its millionth passenger.
Chicago, officially the City of Chicago, is the most populous city in Illinois, as well as the third most populous city in the United States. With an estimated population of 2,716,450 (2017), it is the most populous city in the Midwest. Chicago is the principal city of the Chicago metropolitan area, often referred to as Chicagoland, and the county seat of Cook County, the second most populous county in the United States. The metropolitan area, at nearly 10 million people, is the third-largest in the United States, and the fourth largest in North America and the third largest metropolitan area in the world by land area.
Houston is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Texas and the fourth most populous city in the United States, with a census-estimated population of 2.312 million in 2017. It is the most populous city in the Southern United States and on the Gulf Coast of the United States. Located in Southeast Texas near Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, it is the seat of Harris County and the principal city of the Greater Houston metropolitan area, which is the fifth most populous metropolitan statistical area (MSA) in the United States and the second most populous in Texas after the Dallas-Fort Worth MSA. With a total area of 627 square miles (1,620 km2), Houston is the eighth most expansive city in the United States. It is the largest city in the United States by total area, whose government is similarly not consolidated with that of a county or borough. Though primarily in Harris County, small portions of the city extend into Fort Bend and Montgomery counties.
The temporary federal funding for the service was used up by 2005. However, regional passenger rail advocates came out in force on April 11, 2005, for a state capitol rally sponsored by PassengerRailOk.org. Keynote speaker, Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett addressed the crowd along with the mayors of Perry, Guthrie, and Purcell, Oklahoma, encouraging the state fund the service and to expand the train into Kansas.State lawmakers kept the Heartland Flyer in operation by passing House Bill 1078 that provided an annual $2 million subsidy to continue the service.
Michael Earl Cornett Sr. is an American politician and former television personality who served as the 35th mayor of Oklahoma City, from 2004 until 2018. A member of the Republican Party, he was only the fourth mayor in Oklahoma City history to be elected to three terms and the first to be elected to four terms. He also served as President of the United States Conference of Mayors and as national President of the Republican Mayors and Local Officials (RMLO). He also served as Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Urban Economic Affairs Committee until 2007. In 2018, he was defeated in the Republican runoff by Tulsa businessman Kevin Stitt for GOP nomination for Governor of Oklahoma. In 2006, Cornett was defeated by Mary Fallin for the Republican runoff for U.S. Congress.
Locomotives commonly used on the Heartland Flyer include the General Electric P42DC and P32-8WH. Rolling stock includes Superliners . For many years, the train was powered by only one locomotive, and a Non-Powered Control Unit (NPCU) on the end of the train opposite the locomotive made the train bi-directional. In 2009, the NPCU was replaced with a standard Genesis P42DC, and the train now has locomotive power on both ends.
General Electric Company (GE) is an American multinational conglomerate incorporated in New York and headquartered in Boston. As of 2018, the company operates through the following segments: aviation, healthcare, power, renewable energy, digital industry, additive manufacturing, venture capital and finance, lighting, and oil and gas.
The GE Dash 8-32BWH, also known as the P32-8BWH, B32-8WH, or P32 DASH-8, is a road switcher passenger train locomotive used by Amtrak, based on GE's Dash 8 series of freight train locomotives. Built in 1991, they were the first locomotives purchased to replace the EMD F40PH.
The Superliner is a type of bilevel intercity railroad passenger car used by Amtrak, the national rail passenger carrier in the United States. Amtrak ordered the cars to replace older single-level cars on its long-distance trains in the Western United States. The design was based on the Budd Hi-Level vehicles, employed by the Santa Fe Railway on its El Capitan trains. Pullman-Standard built 284 cars, known as Superliner I, in 1975–1981; Bombardier Transportation built 195, known as Superliner II, in 1991–1996. The Superliner I cars were the last passenger cars built by Pullman.
From April 2010 to April 2011, Amtrak and the Oklahoma Department of Transportation carried out a one-year research project during which the train was run on a biodiesel blend known as B20 (20% pure biofuel and 80% diesel). P32-8 locomotive No. 500 carried an Amtrak decal indicating the use of B20 fuel.The test made national news when TIME magazine listed it as one of "The 50 Best Inventions of 2010."
The train (numbered 821, 822) connects to Amtrak's national passenger rail network at Fort Worth Central Station, where it is timed to allow transfers to the Texas Eagle in both directions. The Texas Eagle runs daily between Chicago, Illinois and San Antonio, Texas, and continues three days each week to Los Angeles, California. The Trinity Railway Express commuter rail service also runs from Fort Worth to nearby Dallas Monday through Saturday each week, with roughly hourly service on weekdays and service every two hours on Saturday. Among its several stops, TRE indirectly connects to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport at CentrePort station, and links to DART Light Rail at Victory station and Union Station (which is also a Texas Eagle stop).
The Fort Worth station also has connections to many local buses operated by Trinity Metro and intercity buses operated by Greyhound Lines.
Several proposals for extending the route of the Heartland Flyer, or providing additional service over all or parts of its route, have been made over the years. Expansion planning revolves around portions of the former Lone Star route and the state-owned route from Oklahoma City to Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The line to Kansas City would stop at Wichita's Union Station and follow the route of the Southwest Chief north of Newton, Kansas. Recent interest in Kansas and Oklahoma communities has been sparked by the proposal and many towns have released resolutions supporting the idea and requesting stations should the route ever be extended. Some of these cities include Wichita, which lost its train service with the discontinuance of the Amtrak Lone Star in 1979. Emporia was eliminated as an Amtrak stop in 2000 but may once again have a train station. Nearly a dozen other communities ranging in size from the tiny community of Strong City, Kansas (pop. 570), to Wichita, with nearly 358,000 residents have passed these resolutions.
A study conducted by Amtrak in 2009 resulted in four proposed service extensions:
According to the August 2010 issue of Trains Magazine, a combination of options one and two as noted above is not out of the question, either, allowing for day and night service, plus perhaps thru-car service to/from the Southwest Chief .
In late 2011, the Kansas Department of Transportation released the results of a study into new service south to Fort Worth, presenting the options of a night train from Texas to Newton, with start-up costs of $87.5 million and an annual subsidy of $4.4 million, or a day train to Kansas City, with start-up costs of $245.5 million and an annual subsidy of $10 million.
During the 1990s, service to San Antonio, Texas, via Austin in conjunction with a reroute of the Texas Eagle west from Fort Worth to El Paso, Texas via Sierra Blanca was considered. This would have created another connection with the Sunset Limited .
Part of the route used by the Heartland Flyer is designated by the USDOT as the South Central High Speed Rail Corridor and is slated to be upgraded to high-speed rail service should funding ever become available. The corridor extends from San Antonio, Texas, to Tulsa through Fort Worth and Oklahoma City. Another branch of this corridor extends from Fort Worth through Dallas to Little Rock, Arkansas.
The Empire Service is a higher-speed train service operated by Amtrak within the state of New York in the United States. The brand name originated with the New York Central Railroad in 1967. Trains on the line provide frequent daily service along the 460-mile (740 km) Empire Corridor between New York City and Niagara Falls, New York via Albany, the state capital.
The Pennsylvanian is a 444-mile (715 km) daily daytime Amtrak train running between New York and Pittsburgh via Philadelphia. The trains travel across the Appalachian Mountains, through Pennsylvania's capital Harrisburg, the Pennsylvania Dutch Country, suburban and central Philadelphia, and New Jersey en route to New York. The entire train ride takes about 9 hours total, with 1.5 hours between New York and Philadelphia, 2 hours between Philadelphia and Harrisburg, and 5.5 hours between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh.
Hiawatha Service, or Hiawatha, is the name of an 86-mile (138 km) train route operated by Amtrak on the western shore of Lake Michigan, although the name was historically applied to several different routes that extended across the Midwest and to the Pacific Ocean. As of 2007, fourteen trains run daily between Chicago, Illinois, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, making intermediate stops in Glenview, Illinois, Sturtevant, Wisconsin, and Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport. The line is partially supported by funds from the state governments of Wisconsin and Illinois.
The Southwest Chief is a passenger train operated by Amtrak on a 2,265-mile (3,645 km) route through the Midwestern and Southwestern United States. It runs between Chicago, Illinois and Los Angeles, California, passing through Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and California.
The Texas Eagle is a 1,306-mile (2,102 km) passenger train route operated by Amtrak in the central and western United States. Trains run daily between Chicago, Illinois, and San Antonio, Texas. Three days a week, the train operates as a section of the Sunset Limited. The westbound Texas Eagle joins with the westbound Sunset Limited in San Antonio and continues to Los Angeles, California; the eastbound Texas Eagle splits in San Antonio for the journey to Chicago–2,728 miles (4,390 km) total. Prior to 1988, the train was known as the Eagle.
Fort Worth Central Station is an intermodal transit center in downtown Fort Worth, Texas. It serves the TEXRail and Trinity Railway Express (TRE) commuter rail lines, Amtrak intercity rail, Greyhound Lines intercity bus, and as the main transfer center for Trinity Metro buses. It is located at the corner of 9th and Jones Streets, on the east side of downtown Fort Worth. TRE service began on December 3, 2001, Amtrak service followed in 2002, and most recently TEXRail began service in 2019.
The Illinois Zephyr and Carl Sandburg are a pair of 258-mile (415 km) passenger trains operated by Amtrak that run between Chicago and Quincy, Illinois. The trains are a part of the Illinois Service rail network and are partially funded by the Illinois Department of Transportation. Between Chicago and Galesburg, Illinois, the services share the BNSF, with the California Zephyr and Southwest Chief. The Galesburg to Quincy section is only served by the Illinois Zephyr and the Carl Sandburg. Started in November 1971, the Illinois Zephyr is the "longest continuously operated state-sponsored train." The Carl Sandburg was added as a second daily round trip in 2006.
The Lincoln Service is a 284-mile (457 km) higher-speed rail service operated by Amtrak that runs between Chicago, Illinois, and St. Louis, Missouri. The train is a part of the Illinois Service and is partially funded by the Illinois Department of Transportation. The train uses the same tracks as Amtrak's Texas Eagle.
Amtrak California is a brand name used by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) Division of Rail on three state-supported Amtrak rail routes within the US State of California, the Capitol Corridor, the Pacific Surfliner, and the San Joaquin. It also includes an extensive network of Thruway Motorcoach bus connections, operated by private companies under contract. The three lines shared the use of "Amtrak California" branded Thruway buses and trainsets.
Amtrak has used a variety of liveries on its rolling stock since taking over intercity passenger rail service in the United States in 1971. A series of six schemes termed Phases, first introduced in 1972, have seen the widest use. Phases primarily use geometric arrangements of red, white, and blue - part of Amtrak's patriotic visual identity.
The Lone Star was an Amtrak passenger train serving Chicago, Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Fort Worth, Houston and intermediate points. The train was renamed from the Texas Chief, which the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway had introduced in 1948. Amtrak discontinued the Lone Star in 1979.
Santa Fe Depot, also known as the Santa Fe Transit Hub, is a historic train station located in downtown Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Amtrak's Heartland Flyer makes daily round-trip service from Oklahoma City to Fort Worth, Texas. The station is the designated Intermodal Transit Hub for the region and as of 2016 is under renovation to accommodate this enhanced use. Santa Fe shares the same station ID, OKC, with the IATA code for Oklahoma City's International airport, Will Rogers World Airport.
The Norman Depot serves a dual function in the Norman, Oklahoma, community. As a passenger rail station it is served by Amtrak's Heartland Flyer and as a community center it houses the Norman Performing Arts Studio, a non-profit arts association. The depot is located at milepost 401.8 of the BNSF Railway's Red Rock subdivision.
The Wolverine is a higher-speed passenger train service operated by Amtrak as part of its Michigan Services. The 304-mile (489 km) line provides three daily round-trips along the Pontiac–Detroit–Chicago route. It carries a heritage train name descended from the New York Central.
The Blue Water is a higher-speed passenger train service operated by Amtrak as part of its Michigan Services. The 319-mile (513 km) line connects Port Huron, Michigan, and Chicago, Illinois, via East Lansing, Michigan.
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is a governmental agency and its purpose is to "provide safe, effective, and efficient movement of people and goods" throughout the state. Though the public face of the agency is generally associated with maintenance of the state's immense highway system, the agency is also responsible for aviation in the state and overseeing public transportation systems.
The Inter-American was a passenger train operated by Amtrak between Chicago, Illinois to Laredo, Texas. Its route changed over time and was eventually replaced by the Eagle.
The Caprock Chief or Caprock Xpress was a proposed Amtrak inter-city rail service which would run from Fort Worth, Texas to Denver, Colorado, passing through the Texas Panhandle, which currently does not have passenger rail service of any kind. Initially proposed 2000-2001, the project has not yet seen significant progress and is unlikely to be implemented. "Caprock" is a geological term for a harder or more resistant rock type overlying a weaker or less resistant rock type, and lends its name to the Caprock Escarpment that defines the edge of the high plains of the Llano Estacado.
The Carolinian is a daily passenger train that runs between Charlotte, North Carolina and New York City. The train began operation in 1990 and is jointly funded and operated by Amtrak and the North Carolina Department of Transportation. A previous iteration operated between 1984-1985. Onboard services include coach, business class, and a cafe car. The train operates over the Northeast Corridor between New York and Washington, D.C. Intermediate stops in North Carolina include Rocky Mount, Wilson, Selma, Raleigh, Cary, Durham, Burlington, Greensboro, High Point, Salisbury, and Kannapolis.
The Eastern Flyer is a proposed medium distance inter-city train traveling between Oklahoma City in central Oklahoma and Tulsa in north-eastern Oklahoma. It was originally to be a private operation by the Iowa Pacific railroad, and its services were to have included a dome car, coaches and full meal service. This would have been the first regular passenger service to Tulsa since the Santa Fe discontinued service in 1971.
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