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How the Heartland Flyer Connects to the USA

Monday, September 18, 2017 12:19 PM


How the Heartland Flyer Connects to the USA

Written by Gary Lanman

Stillwater - About a year ago Amtrak instituted a bus link to connect the Southwest Chief train in Newton, Kansas with Wichita and Oklahoma City.  This service was started to improve the ridership of both the Southwest Chief and the Heartland Flyer and also to prove that it should be turned into a passenger train in the near future.  Since the bus runs late at night, any improvement in ridership would be a big sign that a real passenger train could do very well.  At a recent Interim Study and the Oklahoma Legislature, the talk was all about frequency of service is the key to future growth.  It is hoped that KDOT, ODOT, TXDOT and Amtrak will hear this discussion an act on it.


To show how useful the bus bridge can be for your travel needs, here are some sample times and cost for travel in coach.  If you want to travel by Roomette, you need to book at least two months in advance to get the best price.


Oklahoma City to Los Angeles


With this trip you would get on the bus in OKC at 10:40 pm on Tuesday, October 17, 2017 to travel to Newton, Kansas.  There you catch the westbound Southwest Chief and arrive in Los Angeles at 8:15 am on October 20.  And your cost would be $202 before any discounts.  The trip duration is 35 hours and 5 minutes.


Oklahoma City to Chicago


With this trip you would get on the bus in OKC at 10:40 pm on Tuesday, October 17, 2017 to travel to Newton, Kansas. Then you catch the eastbound Southwest Chief and arrive in Chicago at 3:15 pm on October 18.  And your cost would be $136 before discounts.  The trip duration would be 15 hours and 51 minutes. You could get to Chicago by taking the Heartland Flyer to Fort Worth and then the Texas Eagle to Chicago.  The cost would be $135 and trip duration would by 27 hours and 34 minutes.


Wichita to Austin


With this trip you would get on the bus in Wichita at 5 am on Tuesday, October 17, 2017 to travel to Austin, Texas.  You catch the Heartland Flyer in OKC and then the westbound Texas Eagle in Fort Worth.  You arrive in Austin, Texas a 6:22 pm on October 17 and the cost of the trip was $93 before discounts.  The duration of the train travel was 10 hours and 49 minutes.


Wichita to Los Angeles


With this trip you would get on the bus in Wichita at 1:35 am on Tuesday October 17, 2017 to travel to Newton, Kansas and then to Los Angeles. The cost for the trip in coach would be $184 before discounts. You would arrive in Los Angeles on October 19 at 8:15 am and the duration of the trip would have been 32 hours and 10 minutes.