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Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105

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For Immediate Release: April 10, 2007

Senator Bill Brown
Senator Bill Brown

Senator Brown Hopes Signing of SJR 14 Will Get Tulsa on Track for Passenger Rail Service

Tulsa is the fifth largest metro in the United States without Amtrak service. That’s something Sen. Bill Brown wants to change in the near future. Brown, R-Broken Arrow, is the principal author of Senate Joint Resolution 14, which urges the U.S. Department of Transportation to include a Tulsa to Springfield, Missouri rail line in its existing Missouri Amtrak feasibility study. Gov. Henry voiced his support for the concept when he signed SJR 14 on Sunday.

“Even though Tulsa has been without passenger rail service since the 1980’s, all the feedback I’ve been getting is that interest has done nothing but grow--especially with the popularity of the Heartland Flyer line collecting Oklahoma City to Fort Worth,” Brown said. “The most recent census data shows the Tulsa metro is growing, but we can further capitalize on the growth with passenger rail service.”

Census data released last week estimates that the Tulsa metro could hit a population of one million in the next three to five years. Reaching the one million mark could help attract additional businesses to the area.
Brown said six years ago, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation completed a study of high passenger rail service connecting Tulsa and Oklahoma City to the national passenger rail system. At that time, it was noted that the Tulsa to St. Louis, Missouri connection would become more feasible when the Springfield to St. Louis leg was addressed by the State of Missouri.

“Last year, Missouri requested Amtrak to study the St. Louis to Springfield line. Now is the perfect time to ensure a Tulsa to Springfield connection is a part of that study,” Brown said. “The importance of transportation, including passenger rail service, cannot be underestimated as we prepare to take Oklahoma into its next century. It’s critical for commerce and for tourism. I’m hopeful that with the signing of SJR 14, we could be on track for expanded rail service in Oklahoma.”

For more information contact:
Senator Brown's Office: (405) 521-5602

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