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Heartland Flyer Consist Questions (Non-Pandemic Times)

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Anthony V

Service Attendant
Joined
Mar 10, 2016
Messages
208
I have a few questions concerning the consist of the Heartland Flyer. I know that the train regularly carried 3 passenger cars (two coaches and a cafe/coach) prior to the pandemic. I also know that the Flyer's consist is considerably longer during the annual Big Game Train to Dallas. My questions are:

- Where does the extra rolling stock used in the Big Game Train come from?

- If that extra equipment regularly sits unused (not taken from other routes), will it be used on a daily basis to accommodate the increased ridership if the proposed service extension to Newton, KS goes through?

- Will a potential further service extension to Kansas City require a second train set?

- If yes, where will that additional equipment come from?
 

Bob Dylan

Conductor
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
20,329
Location
Austin Texas
I have a few questions concerning the consist of the Heartland Flyer. I know that the train regularly carried 3 passenger cars (two coaches and a cafe/coach) prior to the pandemic. I also know that the Flyer's consist is considerably longer during the annual Big Game Train to Dallas. My questions are:

- Where does the extra rolling stock used in the Big Game Train come from?

- If that extra equipment regularly sits unused (not taken from other routes), will it be used on a daily basis to accommodate the increased ridership if the proposed service extension to Newton, KS goes through?

- Will a potential further service extension to Kansas City require a second train set?

- If yes, where will that additional equipment come from?
For the Big Game Train they bring the "Big Game" P-42 in to run the Train( the Flyer operates in Push/Pull mode since the Train isnt turned between OKC and FTW.)

A Sightseer Lounge is added to the usual consist, with a Big Game Wrap, and the Train is always Sold Out and runs out of Cafe supplies in both directions.It only runs to Dallas on Game day, the rest of the year it's the Regular OKC-FTW-OKC Routing.

Since the State Fair of Texas is not going to happen till 2021, and no-one knows if the UT- OU Game will actually occur, with or without Fans, whether or not the Train will actually operate this year is TBD???

Dont hold your breath waiting on the Train being extended to Newton, the Thruway Bus between OKC and Newton is never heavily used, the night I last rode it there was 4 of us on the Bus.
 

Anthony V

Service Attendant
Joined
Mar 10, 2016
Messages
208
For the Big Game Train they bring the "Big Game" P-42 in to run the Train( the Flyer operates in Push/Pull mode since the Train isnt turned between OKC and FTW.)

A Sightseer Lounge is added to the usual consist, with a Big Game Wrap, and the Train is always Sold Out and runs out of Cafe supplies in both directions.It only runs to Dallas on Game day, the rest of the year it's the Regular OKC-FTW-OKC Routing.

Since the State Fair of Texas is not going to happen till 2021, and no-one knows if the UT- OU Game will actually occur, with or without Fans, whether or not the Train will actually operate this year is TBD???

Dont hold your breath waiting on the Train being extended to Newton, the Thruway Bus between OKC and Newton is never heavily used, the night I last rode it there was 4 of us on the Bus.
The Flyer's proposed Newton extension will have more intermediate stops than just Wichita, so it should have better ridership than the bus currently has. In addition, it will eliminate a transfer from train to bus at OKC, and vice versa at Newton, as those continuing north of OKC can just continue on the same train they boarded in OKC or points south, rather than being forced off the train (along with their luggage) and onto a bus, only to board a train again at Newton.
 

Bob Dylan

Conductor
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
20,329
Location
Austin Texas
The Flyer's proposed Newton extension will have more intermediate stops than just Wichita, so it should have better ridership than the bus currently has. In addition, it will eliminate a transfer from train to bus at OKC, and vice versa at Newton, as those continuing north of OKC can just continue on the same train they boarded in OKC or points south, rather than being forced off the train (along with their luggage) and onto a bus, only to board a train again at Newton.
Weve had this discussion several times before on this Forum.

Oklahoma and Texas just barely fund this Train as it is, and with the current Economic and Health conditions, I don't see either Legislature providing any additional funding, in fact they'll probably take away the current miserly level of funding.

Your question about where the equipment needed will come from is a good one, the answer is Blowin' in the Wind!
 

saxman

Conductor
Gathering Team Member
Joined
May 17, 2004
Messages
2,449
Location
New Orleans
If the HF is ever extended to just Newton, they shouldn't need any extra equipment. It would just get to Newton around 1 or 2 AM and turn around and get back to Fort Worth on the current schedule. The Northern Flyer Alliance is working on this, but who knows if it would happen. Kansas would have to fork up a little money too.
 

railiner

Conductor
Joined
Mar 20, 2009
Messages
8,159
Location
South Florida
If the HF is ever extended to just Newton, they shouldn't need any extra equipment. It would just get to Newton around 1 or 2 AM and turn around and get back to Fort Worth on the current schedule. The Northern Flyer Alliance is working on this, but who knows if it would happen. Kansas would have to fork up a little money too.
Or...combine it with the SWC to/from Chicago, and it runs over 750 miles...hence fully Amtrak funded?
 

Anthony V

Service Attendant
Joined
Mar 10, 2016
Messages
208
Kansas has shown a lot more interest in funding the extension than it did under Gov. Brownback. In fact, the state legislature passed a law that enables funding of operations once service starts up. Kansas has also vowed to provide matching funds for a federal grant to pay for the capital upgrades needed for the expanded service.
 

amtkstn

OBS Chief
Joined
Nov 2, 2008
Messages
720
Location
OK
The biggest challenge is BNSF wants too much money to run the new train at 79. The lower 60 mph speed will not draw enough passengers to come close to breaking even money wise.
 

Charles785

Train Attendant
Joined
Nov 24, 2017
Messages
86
I have no idea what that "Security Check Required" is all about or even means. I tried to include the Facebook links to Passenger Rail Kansas, Passenger Rail Oklahoma, and Southwest Chief Magazine.
 

F900ElCapitan

Lead Service Attendant
AU Supporter
Joined
Oct 7, 2018
Messages
381
They usually do two Big Game Train units, currently 157 and 189 have the honors. The daily train runs with either 2 P-42s or with one P-42 and one of the old F-40 cabbage cars.

All extra cars for the special train are brought to FTW via the Texas Eagle, and then returned via the same method.

Currently the HF is running with one coach and one coach/cafe. Bringing in a single coach or even two shouldn’t be an issue as even in the busiest of times, Amtrak doesn’t and can’t run at 100% utilization. It’s also not uncommon for there to be a locomotive and/or coach in FTW as protection equipment. We’ll have to see about an increase in ridership should it get extended. I could see Wichita having some and a few more connecting, but I don’t see this as a massive increase. One other thing to think about is the SWC is still limited on space and commonly reduced to one sleeper and two coaches during the non-busy times.

A Kansas City turn would definitely require two train sets. If they ran this on it’s own and don’t attach it to the SWC, then the equipment could be changed to Horizon/Amfleet if not enough Superliners are available. But with the SWC and TE as connections, I just don’t see the need to run it all the way to KCY.
 
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