Proposed Heartland Flyer extension, connecting Oklahoma City to Newton. (Courtesy Kansas …)
Updating the latest efforts to extend Amtrak rail passenger service from Oklahoma City north to Newton, Kansas, the Kansas Transportation Department is attempting to get input from travelers in Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas.
A push is underway not only to extend the Heartland Flyer’s service out of Oklahoma City, but to restore service to Wichita,Kansas where Amtrak discontinued service nearly four decades ago. It’s reported the Kansas Transportation Department has been put in charge of seeking input.
If such an extension of service were to be approved, it would mean the Heartland Flyer route would not only include Wichita but Arkansas City and result in connections with the Southwest Chief national route which is out of Chicago.
KDOT is in the process of getting another Service Development Plan done on the idea. It completed one in 2011, but the plan fell short due to lack of funding.
Friends of Passenger Rail Oklahoma posted a message on Facebook Sunday saying that the Oklahoma Department of Transportation has turned the public input process over to KDOT. ODOT says it is still working with KDOT and Texas on the project, but KDOT is the lead agency and is where public input should be directed.
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