TULSA – If you see a train traveling through Green Country you probably know it's carrying cargo. However, the locomotive could carry you, all the way to Oklahoma City.
That's if Sen. Brian Crain, R-Tulsa, has his way.
“Let's see what the costs and what the benefits are to providing passenger rail service to the Tulsa area and extend the Heartland Flyer,” Crain said.
The Heartland Flyer currently travels from Ft. Worth up to Kansas, and stops in Oklahoma City. The proposed rail would connect Tulsa to OKC.
“Who would have thought people would be stuck on the Broken Arrow Expressway at 5:00 p. m. back in 1960,” Crain said.
“What happens 50 years from now, if we don't plan for rail service and other alternatives? It's not the exclusive remedy, but it's one of many.”
However, planning for that future is at a stand still. That's because a task force must research if a passenger line is even needed.
Speaker of the House Chris Steele has yet to appoint members to the committee. The task force has until the end of the year to deliver it's findings.
The City of Tulsa has also jumped on-board and created it's own committee.
Tom Verdel, a memeber on the Tulsa rail advisory board, said a passenger train could spark an around town rail.
“It will have to use the new inter-mobile bridge being constructed right now,” Verdel said. “That would create the first leg of a light rail system that would expand further out through the community.”
Renovating existing tracks to OKC would cost about $120 million. Building a high speed track would cost around $2 billion.