Friday, October 21, 2011

The Heartland Flyer

Ever since we moved to Oklahoma City, I've wanted to ride the train down to Fort Worth on one of our trips to visit family.  Amtrak has a route, The Heartland Flyer, that makes a round-trip from OKC to FTW each day.  We finally got the opportunity on Labor Day weekend. 
The train leaves OKC bright and early at 8:25, so we got up early and headed down there.  We were able to park right next to the station, so it was pretty easy.  We had gotten there early in order to 'check bags' as instructed on the web site, but that was not necessary.  There is no checked baggage on this trip - you either take it up to the seat with you (plenty of overhead bins) or leave it downstairs in a small baggage area as you pass by. 

Jerry and the girls and our train

Our engine next to the station
Once we got onboard we found seats together (it was crowded because of the holiday weekend).  The seats were nice and large, and and footrests and reclined quite a bit.  There was an electrial outlet by each pair of seats, so you could recharge your devices or plug in a laptop if needed. 
Enjoying the roomy accomodations
Our ride was leisurely, thanks to the extreme heat of the summer.  It affects the rails, so the train can't go as fast as it normally would.  Still, it was quite nice to be able to relax and not worry about the road.  Jerry and I both got quite a bit of reading done.  The girls enjoyed moving around the train, visiting the snack bar and the restrooms several times. 

One humorous moment was provided by the ladies sitting behind us.  We were facing the end of the car, and you could see the adjoining car through the windows in the doors.  After watching the adjoining car moving on the tracks, she said to her companion, "Look how much that car is bouncing around!  I guess we got the good car."   

We enjoyed our weekend, and then reboarded the train on Monday in Fort Worth, arriving back to OKC around 9:30.  It was a stress-free way to travel, but with its limited schedule, I can see why people don't use it more.  It's a shame, because it is a pleasant way to get from point A to point B.

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