Letter to the Editor: All aboard!
BY John W. Simmons, Tulsa
Sunday, February 03, 2013
2/03/13 at 7:58 AM
As a dedicated rail fan, one who rode many passenger trains that ran through Oklahoma (I can count at least nine), I find the plan to get passenger trains running again between Tulsa and Oklahoma City appealing ("Tulsa-OKC rail link pushed," Jan. 28).
When the Frisco put into service its "Firefly" in the late 1930s, the train made the Tulsa-OKC run in two hours and 15 minutes - faster than most drivers could do the old Highway 66. And even as late as the early 1960s, one could board the westbound Meteor in Tulsa, go to the capital city, do business and return on the same train later in the day. I did it.
Also, while riding on the Firefly or the Meteor, you could enjoy a good meal in the diner while viewing the passing scenery.
The plan just offered includes a special attraction: The train could carry riders to the University of Oklahoma games.
It's a fine concept. There are questions. Being conventional rail, how will it compete with the turnpike? And what about the absence of depots?
Conventional rail certainly beats the cost of high-speed rail. And it would serve communities along the way.
If it happens, I am ready to board the very first departure.
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A passenger runs to board an Amtrak Acela passenger train at Union Station in Washington, D.C. Officials have discussedcreating rail service between Tulsa and Oklahoma. ANDREW HARRER/Bloomberg