Committee: Passenger Rail To OKC May Be Cheaper Than Thought

Friday, June 1st 2012, 3:39 pm
By: News On 6

A proposed passenger rail from Tulsa to Oklahoma City may be less expensive than originally anticipated, the City of Tulsa announced Friday.

Refurbished locomotives might be an option to make the proposed plan more affordable, according to Tulsa Rail Advisory Committee Chairman and former District 2 Councilor Rick Westcott.

A diesel-electric locomotive costs up to $7 million, the new report presented at the Oklahoma Department of Transportation Thursday said.

The Tulsa Rail Advisory Committee received quotes from independent railcar corporations for refurbished coaches for as little as $300,000, the release said.

Other recommendations made to the Eastern Flyer Rail Task Force include a private-public partnership. Westcott said he thinks that is necessary in order to minimize costs to the taxpayers.

The report states that the committee has already gotten positive feedback from at least one Association of Independent Passenger Rail Operators (AIPRO) provider about the opportunity to be part of a public-private partnership for a rail from Tulsa to OKC, although no specific proposals were discussed.