Dedicated to intercity passenger rail expansion between Fort Worth and Kansas City through Oklahoma City and Wichita. We need a connected America!

2024 Kansas Legislative Session and Rail Initiatives Update

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Legislative Developments
The 2024 Kansas legislative session has seen significant progress in supporting passenger rail services, particularly through Senate Bill No. 349 and Senate Bill No. 514.
Senate Bill No. 349: This bill focuses on the operational support for the Heartland Flyer Extension, which aims to enhance passenger rail service between...

Heartland Flyer Passenger Rail Update

Monday, August 1, 2022

It has been a busy several months since we last sent out an update, and much has happened, as you know.  The four main topics are highlighted below.Missouri River RunnerA week ago today, there was very good news regarding passenger rail in Missouri, as Governor Mike Parson signed Missouri's 2022 Budget Bill HB 3004.  This bill fully funded and restored...

Oklahoma Transportation Secretary Tim Gatz Speaks on the Future of the Heartland Flyer

Sunday, March 6, 2022

Tim Gatz
Oklahoma Transportation Secretary

Gov. Kevin State and Oklahoma Transportation Secretary Tim Gatz recently spoke to the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber on the transportation plan for Oklahoma’s future. Here is link to the article as reported by Janice Francis-Smith in The Journal Record.


KMUW FM 89.1 in Wichita says that Arkansas City wants the Heartland Flyer Passenger Train

Thursday, September 16, 2021

South-central Kansas has been missing from Amtrak's map for decades. President Joe Biden's massive infrastructure plan could bring passenger service back to the region.

Sitting in the middle of Wilson Park near downtown Arkansas City is a massive, black steam engine from 1910.
The city restored the old Atchison Northern Santa Fe locomotive...

Amtrak Heartland Flyer Media Event

Saturday, June 12, 2021

William J. Flynn
CEO Amtrak
Amtrak held a Zoom media event on Tuesday, June 9th to discuss their plans to extend and expand the frequencies for the Heartland Flyer Train. Attending the meeting were Senator Moran of Kansas, Amtrak CEO Bill Flynn, Amtrak President Stephen Gardner and officials from Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. They proposed covering...

NFA Amtrak Townhall

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

The Northern Flyer Alliance held a Townhall with Amtrak on Zoom on May 17, 2021 with well over 70 people in attendance. The speakers were Amtrak Government Affairs members Derrick James of Chicago and Todd Stennis of New Orleans. Over 20 elected officials from Oklahoma and Kansas participated.

The video can be found here:

Kansas House Passed 6017 Resolution

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Rep. Gail Finney
On May 5, 2021, the Kansas House of Representatives passed a resolution to support the expansion of the Heartland Flyer passenger train from Oklahoma City to Newton, Kansas.  This would connect the national Amtrak passenger rail network with the Southwest Chief to the north and the Texas Eagle and Sunset Express to the south. This...

Contact Congress to Support the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Bill that funds the Heartland Flyer Extension

Friday, April 23, 2021

Contact your members of Congress to ask them to support the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Bill because it includes funding to extend the Heartland Flyer north to Newton, Kansas, where it would connect with the Southwest Chief.  Based on recent KS and OK State Resolutions, it could also provide funding to include a daytime train from Kansas...

Kansas Senate Passed 1716 Resolution

Friday, April 23, 2021

The Kansas Senate passed Kansas Resolution 1716 on March 31, 2021 with all 40 senators listed as sponsors.  This resolution supports the expansion of the Heartland Flyer passenger train from Oklahoma City to Newton, Kansas to connect with the Amtrak Southwest Chief. This is the second year that resolutions have been passed in the Senate.
You can...

Oklahoma Passed HCR 1003 Resolution

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Representative Ken Luttrell presented House Concurrent Resolution 1003 Thursday, April 15, 2021, endorsing and supporting the extension of Amtrak service between Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and Newton, Kansas and urging support for the inclusion of federal funding for development of the Heartland Flyer Extension. This HCR also urges support for the inclusion...

Could "Amtrak Joe" Revolutionize Public Transport?

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Could “Amtrak Joe” Revolutionize Public Transport?

“Amtrak Joe” loves trains. He has taken Amtrak round trips between Delaware and Washington, D.C., some 8,200 times. He almost took one to his presidential inauguration, and he actually did take one to his first vice presidential inauguration, later waxing sentimental about the experience in...

2020 Kansas Smart TD Rail Survey

Friday, February 5, 2021

Executive Summary:
Bottom line: by a two-to-one margin 59 percent (support) to 29 percent (oppose), Kansas residents strongly support expanded Heartland Flyer Amtrak service into the state, even when told service could cost the state of Kansas up to $3 million annually. The survey was conducted January 30 through February 6, 2020 comprising 525...

2021 Letter to Governor Kelly

Friday, January 22, 2021

Governor Kelly
Dear Governor Laura Kelly                                                                                                                                        January 22, 2021
Kansas State Capitol120 West 10th StreetTopeka, KS 66612
Dear Governor Kelly
Please direct the Kansas Department of Transportation to proceed with...

Amtrak's Ray Lang Presents to Rail Passengers Association

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Ray Lang

September 23, 2020

On Wednesday, September 23, 2020, Ray Lang the Director, National State Relations for Amtrak made a presentation to the Rail Passengers Association on Zoom. There were many interesting charts (See charts here) that were presented on Amtrak’s plans to add rail services in areas where the population is moviing. 

Ross Capon Says Don't Mess With Long-Distance Trains

Monday, September 14, 2020

Ross B. Capon

Statement ofRoss Capon, Consultant
to the
House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials
Submitted September 8, 2020 for the record of the September 9, 2020 hearing:
Amtrak’s Response to COVID-19
The following document reprinted with permission

New Amtrak ALC-42 Siemens Charger Locomotives

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Transitional paint scheme on the first ALC-42 Siemens ChargersWASHINGTON – Amtrak today released renderings and other information about the first of the diesel-electric locomotives that will replace the current fleet on the National Network, including all long distance and many state-sponsored routes.
Five of the first six locomotives will have...

Sen Steve Daines of Montana heads support to save long-distance Amtrak trains!

Friday, June 19, 2020

Senator Steve Daines of Montana

The Rail Passenger Association and Senator Steve Daines of Montana have been working together on a project to protect the long-distance Amtrak trains. They have developed the following letter and are asking other senators to support the effort. Please contact your senator to seek their support. If this reduction...

BRAIN Train Act Introduced by Senator Markley

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Senator Edward Markey

The BRAIN TRAIN Act will specifically:
Authorize the Department of Transportation (DOT) to implement a competitive grant program and award up to $5 billion annually to fund high-performance rail projects.
Instruct the DOT to evaluate applications for funding based on criteria such as:The levels of estimated ridership,...

Oklahoma House Resolution in Support of the Heartland Flyer Extension Passes!

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Rep Ken LuttrellResolution Supporting Passenger Rail Extension Adopted by HouseThe signed version on the resolution can be found here.
5/14/2020 10:34:00 AM
OKLAHOMA CITY – A resolution supporting the extension of passenger rail service from Oklahoma City to Newton, KS, was adopted unanimously by the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

Kansas Resolution in Support of the Heartland Flyer Extension

Sunday, March 8, 2020

By Senator McGinn
A RESOLUTION supporting the extension of Amtrak passenger rail service between Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and Newton, Kansas.
     WHEREAS, Numerous studies conducted by universities in Texas and Kansas have determined the economic benefit of Amtrak's Heartland Flyer passenger rail service...

Save the Southwest Chief OP-ED

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Replying to: “Amtrak’s Southwest Chief is in Jeopardy”
Here’s the problem with the Southwest Chief~
Amtrak has asked Congress to untie its hands and allow it to cut unprofitable routes. TheSouthwest Chief, according to Amtrak’s flawed accounting system, like nearly all other longdistance routes are unprofitable. But this is simply incorrect....

Letter to Governor Kelly

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Governor Kelly
Dear Governor Laura Kelly                                                                                                                                               October 7, 2019
Kansas State Capitol120 West 10th StreetTopeka, KS 66612
Dear Governor Kelly
Please direct the Kansas Department of Transportation to proceed...

Tell ODOT to Spend $2.8 Million Fine to expand the Heartland Flyer to Kansas

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Tell ODOT to Spend the $2.8 Million on the Hearland Flyer Expansion

The Stillwater Central Railroad, which is a Watco company, was committed to pilot a passenger rail service between Oklahoma City and Tulsa as part of the agreement to buy the Sooner Sub track that runs from Midwest City to Supalpa. Under terms of that agreement they had five...

What if America took its train system seriously?

Thursday, September 12, 2019

This article was originally published by Crosscut and is republished here by permission.
 I don’t often get out of Seattle, but this summer I rode the train to the Twin Cities and back. I wish I could say it was a principled choice to curtail my carbon footprint, but it wasn’t. Air fares were pricey, Amtrak came to mind, and the more I pondered...

Meeting with Kansas Secretary of Transportation - Julie Lorenz

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Kansas Secretary of Transportation
Julie Lorenz

Arriving early, Mark Corriston and I found ourselves arranging the seating in the sunny overflow space of Scooter’s in Lenexa last Thursday, August 8. We wanted Sec Lorenz and her Deputy Secretary to feel comfortable and relaxed – empowered, essentially to speak openly and honestly with us...

KDOT Local Consult Meetings 2019

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Local KDOT Consult Meeting Dates.....Be sure to find your date, location and bring friends who support passenger rail!
Monday, August 19, 20191:30- 4:30 pmNorthcentral Region—SalinaKansas Highway Patrol Academy2025 East IronSalina, KS 67401
Tuesday, August 20, 2019Southcentral Region—Hutchinson9:00 am – 12:00 pmAtrium Hotel & Conference Center1400...

Passenger Rail Moving Forward in Kansas

Monday, July 1, 2019

Contact Deborah Fischer StoutPhone 913-827-8380

Topeka, KS July 1, 2019– Passenger rail, once the scourge of Kansas government, is now a bi-partisan“thing” thanks to a decades-long...

Ten Years Since Resolution #0957

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Ten years after the Northern Flyer Alliance got Resolution 0957 passed through the KS House, it looks like 2019 is shaping up to be the year for funding the Heartland Flyer Extension. At least in the Kansas Legislature. The arc of justice is long. 
The NFA Board met in Topeka on Nov 19, 2018 to discuss strategy and action steps for the 2019 KS...

Maintenance is Important

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Tools for a Smoother Ride: Managing Rail Assets and Leveraging Competition
By Malcolm Kenton
Reprinted with permission
Public transit maintenance is not often headline news. Yet with high profile closures and disruptions to rail systems in major metropolitan areas like New York, Baltimore, and Washington, the condition of this infrastructure...

Track to the Future

Friday, March 2, 2018

Track to the Future
Written by Deborah Fischer Stout
The Northern Flyer Alliance, Inc. is an advocate for the reintroduction of passenger rail service from Kansas City, Missouri through Wichita, Kansas to Fort Worth, Texas. NFA is a coalition of 49 cities, six counties, and 19 Chambers of Commerce along the I-35 corridor that have joined together...

How the Heartland Flyer Connects to the USA

Monday, September 18, 2017

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...

New Charger Locomotives for the Midwest

Monday, September 11, 2017

Posted by Gary Lanman
Siemens Charger Units Unveiled with Amtrak Midwest Logo
CHICAGO – New locomotives are now serving Amtrak customers in Illinois and Wisconsin, with the U.S.-built, Midwest-powered, Amtrak-maintained units slated to operate on state-sponsored services in the region. These Siemens Charger locomotives will please customers...

China opened 1400 mile bullet train in 2017

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Posted by Gary Lanman
The world’s longest bullet train is now (2017) open for business in China to take passengers from Shanghai to Kunming.  That is covering 5 provinces which is over 1400 miles in 10.5 hours.  There goes the argument that we can’t build high-speed trains in the us because of the long distances compared to Europe.  The distance...

Heartland Flyer to Ft Worth

Monday, December 12, 2016

Written by Gary Lanman
On Friday, December 9, 2016, my wife, Pam, and friends Joann and Lonnie took the Heartland Flyer to Ft Worth, Texas to get our train riding on and to visit Cowtown.  We had to get up really early because it is over 60 miles to the station in Oklahoma City.  They got to our house early, so we made it to the station early....

Oklahoma's Lack of Budget Planning puts the Heartland Flyer in Jeopardy

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Posted by Gary Lanman
Though they have no trouble wasting money elsewhere and handing out subsidies to cronies in the energy industry, Oklahoma lawmakers share a zeal to get rid of passenger rail service once and for all.
With the state's budget foundering, all subsidies should be scrutinized. But since the Heartland Flyer started operation...

Amtrak Sets Records!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Posted by Gary Lanman
It was a strong year for Amtrak, as the nation's passenger railroad set records for ticket revenue and number of riders, while posting its lowest operating loss in more than 40 years.
Amtrak said Thursday that its ticket revenue for fiscal 2016, which ended Sept. 30, reached $2.14 billion, up $12 million over fiscal 2015....