To the editor:
I read Monday's editorial with some interest. We used to ride the old ATSF Texas Chief to Oklahoma City or Ardmore, where my family would pick us up. It was vastly preferable to driving the distance. City Commissioner Mike Dever made some remarks about the reliability of ontime service. As one respondent mentioned, the on-time service of the Southwest Chief has improved.
The tracks from Newton to Oklahoma City are still there; they belong to BNSF Railway. There is much freight service on those tracks. And that is the thorn in ontime service. Freight railroads do not operate on timetables; trains are called as needed. And passenger service has been a money-losing service for many decades. Amtrak is pretty much at the mercy of the railroad needing to make money and deliver their customers' freight. It is not a very suitable arrangement for planning reliable ontime service without the cooperation of the BNSF management.
I hope that this service, which previously existed as the "Amtrak Lone Star" can be revived and, mercy, during daylight hours! I am a big fan of rail passenger service. It is widely used in other countries, and it should be much more available and utilized in this country.
Fred Whitehead Jr.