Amtrak’s gearing up to celebrate its 20th anniversary of the Heartland Flyer in Oklahoma.
The celebration will be observed on Friday, June 14. It was in 1999 when passenger rail returned to Oklahoma as the Amtrak Heartland Flyer hit the rails between Oklahoma and Texas.
The daily service by Amtrak has carried more than 1.4 million passengers between Oklahoma City and Fort Worth during the past two decades. The line was initiated thanks to federal funds received by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation to start Amtrak service. ODOT and the Texas Department of Transportation contribute funds annually to continue the daily operations.
The Heartland Flyerconnects to the Texas Eagle train in Fort Worth, which provides service to major cities including Dallas, Little Rock, St. Louis or Austin and San Antonio.
“The Heartland Flyer continues to be a major transportation solution for connecting Oklahoma to rail options nationwide,” Oklahoma Secretary of Transportation and ODOT Executive Director Tim Gatz said. “We appreciate the support of Oklahomans and Texans for this line and look forward to opportunities to keep it growing in the future.”
As part of the 20th anniversary celebration this Friday, June 14, the Heartland Flyer will get a special send-off at 7:45 a.m. from the Santa Fe Depot and the Paul Adams Memorial Platform in Oklahoma City.
Invited guests include Secretary of Transportation Tim Gatz, Oklahoma City Manager Craig Freeman and Amtrak Senior Manager Todd Stennis. Participating with her family will be Katie Moore of Oklahoma City, who suggested the name for the train when she was 11-years old in 1999.