May 30, 2024 - TRA Newswire -

Mid-June will mark 25 years of passenger rail service between Fort Worth and Oklahoma City on the daily Heartland Flyer and passengers can ride for $25 or less between June 13 and 18.

According to Amtrak, operator of the Texas and Oklahoma Department of Transportation partnered service, the iconic Sightseer Lounge will be running on selected trips through Cowboy Country.  

In a news release from Amtrak "Enjoy this limited-time opportunity to mosey into the Sightseer Lounge and experience the scenic views of the West through floor-to-ceiling windows. Mingle with new friends, visit the Cafe for a variety of delicious food and beverage choices, or head back to your seat where you can kick back and unwind in wide, reclining seats with plenty of legroom--and no middle seats. Book your trip today and prepare to arrive at your destination relaxed and ready to explore."

RA has learned that on the morning of Tuesday June 18th, an event will be held at the Oklahoma City Santa Fe station at 8:00am before the departure of the Heartland Flyer for Fort Worth. It's expected that the celebration will include Amtrak officials, City of Oklahoma City, Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, State Chamber of Oklahoma, Edmond Area Chamber of Commerce, Norman Chamber of Commerce and Texas Rail Advocates.

Train riders will then board the southbound Flyer along with elected officials, transportation and business leaders as well as rail advocates. A short celebration will be held at each Oklahoma and Texas station stop on the way to Fort Worth. Elected and appointed officials are expected to welcome the train at each station.

Seats may be limited on the train that morning so if you are interested in observing some rail history, it is suggested that you book your seat as soon as possible at The same-day return trip from Fort Worth at 5:25pm should also be booked in advance to assure a seat.

The Heartland Flyer, a partnership between the Texas Department of Transportation and the Oklahoma Department of Transportation is riding high based on new ridership data. The daily train bounced back from a pandemic downturn that hit all modes of transportation hard. Compared to 2019, the last reporting year before the covid-19 outbreak, the Flyer showed a 16% increase in ridership for the first six months of Amtrak's 2024 fiscal year compared to pre-pandemic traffic.

In a statement from Amtrak, provider of the Heartland Flyer service, it said "We welcome you to join us Tuesday, June 18, for a media event celebrating Amtrak’s Heartland Flyer 25th anniversary train from Oklahoma City to Fort Worth. Meet the folks who enjoy and rely on the train as we thank them for 25 years of patronage".

A policymaker summit and reception is scheduled for Monday, June 17 in Oklahoma City as officials look ahead to expanding passenger rail service to Kansas.

Photo credit: Amtrak