We will begin a cooperative study with the Burlington Northern & Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway and other involved railroads to expand freight and passenger capacity in the north-south corridor. In view of increased freight traffic projections on the BNSF, it will be important to develop a plan to increase capacity in this service corridor. The public has a significant stake in addition to increasing Oklahoma City’s ability to position itself as a freight transportation hub. Increased length and frequency of trains can degrade traffic flow at this line’s relatively frequent grade crossings. Also, from a regional transportation perspective, increased freight traffic on this single line may make commuter rail or additional Amtrak service impossible. A study will examine alternatives that could include an additional track, improved technology, or a freight bypass.

We will work to establish Oklahoma City as a principal intermodal center, beginning with a study to consider the demand, feasibility, and measures necessary to develop such a facility. Oklahoma City, at the intersection of major road, railroad, and air facilities, appears well-positioned to expand its role as a major focus for intermodal freight and distribution. The impact of such a center can be very beneficial in terms of new jobs, investment, and even redevelopment of brownfields industrial sites. One of the newest intermodal facilities, the BNSF’s Kansas City Intermodal Facility and the associated Logistics Park, is opening with about one million square feet of warehousing space and is projected to attract up to 15 million square feet of warehousing, distribution, and associated industry, with employment in excess of 2,000 people. The private and public sectors of our community should examine the feasibility of such a facility, potential sites, potential developers, and steps necessary to execute the concept.