Light Amtrak Moves in OK on the BNSF Red Rock Sub, what's going on? is a free online Railroad Discussion Forum and Railroad Photo Gallery for railroaders, railfans, model railroaders and anyone else who is interested in railroads. We cover a wide variety of topics, including freight trains, passenger and commuter railroads, rail news and information, tourist railroads, railway museums and railroad history.

Hello, I was wondering if any of the Oklahoma or Texas-based railfans might have any idea of this Amtrak equipment move and what the purpose is:

The past couple of days here in Norman, OK on the BNSF Red Rock Sub I've seen an unusual light Amtrak move going by my apartment (which is right by the track) during the middle of the day with only one Superliner coach sandwiched between two P42's. Yesterday, sometime around noon, it passed by going southbound, and then came back about an hour later going northbound. Today, it passed by going northbound about 1:30 PM, then about an hour later, come back going south. This is NOT the regular Heartland Flyer train (which leaves in the morning and comes back in the evening), this is an additional Amtrak move which has been coming by twice (maybe more?) (in each direction) during the middle of the day. Unfortunately I do not have any pictures or video of it, but this is the second day in a row now where I've seen this light Amtrak move here in Norman. Has anyone else seen/heard of this light Amtrak move, and have any information as to why they're running it?

My guess is that it's some kind of inspection/safety train, though I don't know if it's BNSF or the FRA that's sponsoring it, and if it's BNSF, I can't imagine why they'd be using Amtrak equipment. Or maybe it's an "Officer-on-the-Train" Operation Lifesaver campaign train? I can't think of what else it would be, anybody have any ideas?


New Member
Amtrak is testing operation with BNSF's Electronic Train Management Syster (ETMS). The train is operating out of Flynn Yard, usually coming out behind the Heartland Flyer. It was there all last week and may be there all of this week. If you look at the engineer's side of the locomotives you will note a long blade antenna that is for ETMS.
Ah, that explains it, thanks for the info. I saw it again this morning, so I'm guessing they're doing the tests again all this week as well. Based on what I've read on BNSF's website, it sounds like BNSF's version of Positive Train Control. I wonder how far south they're running the test train along the line?

I have video of the train from last Thursday that I will hopefully post soon.


New Member
I was in Norman for a meeting last week and, through Wednesday, they had gone as far south as Paoli. Late in 2010 Amtrak had a larger test train operating out of Gainesville and I think it operated toward OKC, but I am not sure how far they went.

Tower 55

Its DGNO. Not Dingo!
They are also timing the grade crossings for higher speeds. According to a BNSF DS on railspot. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section. - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.

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