Friends of the Northern Flyer Alliance
Train Trip to Ardmore, Oklahoma
Sunday, October 6, 2019 1:48 PM
October 4, 2019
On Friday, I took a train trip on the Heartland Flyer to Ardmore with the new ODOT Rail Programs Division Manager, Jared Schwennesen. Jared holds BS and MS degrees from Oklahoma University and is certified as a PE. While woking at ODOT, he has served in the Bridge Division, Traffic Division, Maintenance in ITS and Fiber Optics and Environmental Programs. This trip was scheduled with a staff photographer to take pictures for a future social media campaign to help improve awareness of the Heartland Flyer train from Oklahoma City to Fort Worth and to increase ridersitp. Planning is underway for the BIG Game Train that will take fans to see the OU vs. Texas on October 12.
Before I got on the train I noticed that there was no one to take my $10 for parking at the station in OKC. There was always a person to take my money, but this time there was no one to be found. Then I noticed a parking kiosk had been installed near the street. The machine only takes credit cards and requires you to input your car tag number. It will then print a receipt which you do not have to put back in your car.
The train had a good crowd on board including a young couple with a young child on their way to Fort Worth. This was their first time on the train so they were interested in what to do in Fort Worth. They were from Hutchinson, Kansas, but still drove all the way to OKC to catch the train as they did not know about the bus connection in Newton. The line to the snack bar was so long that I gave up. On the return trip the line was not bad at all.
The Ardmore Mainstreet and the CIty of Ardmore have developed a plan to create a park at the Depot. They have an old steam locomotive that has been installed on an incline, which makes for an improved look.
While taking in the stores on Main Street, I went into the Antique Store and to my surprise, there was my rail friend, Judy Elmore. Judy has been involved in the Heartland Flyer and its promotion since the very begining. She is also a member ot the Texas Eagle marketing group TEMPO.
The trip back to OKC and then to Stillwater was pleasant and on time.