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On Sept. 14 and 15, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) will hold public meetings to present preliminary plans for high-speed rail (HSR), and review some of the associated challenges and opportunities. Transportation, city and community planning officials will be on hand to detail planned passenger-rail improvements between Tulsa, Oklahoma City and the Texas state line.
ODOT is seeking about $2 billion in Track 2 High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail stimulus funds from the Federal Railroad Administration. The state's HSR plan includes improvements to, and an extension of, service along the federally designated South Central High Speed Rail Corridor.
The department proposes to upgrade the existing Amtrak Heartland Flyer line between the Oklahoma/Texas line to Oklahoma City by improving track, constructing double track between Oklahoma City and Norman, upgrading crossings, improving CTC signaling, and upgrading switches at the Ardmore and Oklahoma City stations.
ODOT also plans to develop a regional HSR service between the Oklahoma City and Tulsa central business districts. The state is seeking stimulus funds to provide a direct connection between BNSF Railway Co. and Union Pacific Railroad tracks in Oklahoma City, build a new alignment adjacent to I-44/Turner Turnpike capable of handling 150 mph operations, and developing a final rail segment using an ODOT- and BNSF-owned line with a bypass around BNSF's Cherokee Yard in Tulsa.
Stimulus funds also could help finance rolling stock acquisitions, maintenance facilities and equipment, line electrification and positive train control systems.
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Updates from Alstom, Skanska, B.H.I.T and MATECH