Grant to Help Upgrade Oklahoma Rail for Oil Shipments

May 24, 2012

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — State transportation officials say a federal grant to upgrade rail lines in western Oklahoma will help keep up with increased oil and natural gas production in the region.

A $6.75 million federal grant has been awarded to the Oklahoma Department of Transportation. It's part of an $8.5 million project to rehabilitate 49 miles of state-owned tracks between Clinton and Sayre in Beckham County.

Officials say Oklahoma is the first state in the nation to use the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant. Transportation Secretary Gary Ridley says railroad officials worked with the state to secure the funding.

Upgrading the tracks will allow train speeds to be increased from 10 to 25 miles per hour and place fewer restrictions on the number of cars per train, resulting in faster delivery of oil.