Riding the Rails
Amtrak's Heartland Flyer
The best way to tell you about the Heartland Flyer is through pictures. We took the ride on a Saturday, when the railroad was celebrating its 10th anniversary. Many people had come to ride; the train was full! The night before, there had been a heavy storm, so going was slow in certain low areas. The Red River was exactly that red with muddy clay. Those things did not deter us from enjoying the outing.
It all began at Oklahoma City's Santa Fe depot. Since our visit, it has been restored. That is good, because this depot with its vivid murals depicting area history needs to be preserved.
After leaving Oklahoma City, we passed through Norman, birthplace of that favorite of all actors, James Garner. Soon, we encountered the Red River.
We passed through Ardmore with its former Harvey House depot and restaurant. The restaurant is no more, but we're glad the building is. What a fascinating piece of architecture!
Well, we passed an oil well that was being drilled and saw egrets and cattle, and then, we reached Fort Worth. They might fancy themselves a cattle town, but the presence of skyscrapers amidst the century-old buildings tells a different story.
The Heartland Flyer is a joint venture. Oklahoma and Texas provide funding, while Amtrak provides the rolling stock and personnel. In Fort Worth, it connects with the Texas Eagle. Hopes are to extend the Heartland Flyer into Kansas, where it can make connections with the Southwest Chief.