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Oklahoma completes $75M sale of railroad track

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 4, 2014 at 6:00 pm •  Published: August 4, 2014

McKechnie said Stillwater Central Railroad will continue moving freight on the Sooner Sub rail, including agriculture and construction products and crude oil.

"The facility in Stroud is one of the central points of the energy markets in North America," McKechnie said, adding that work is underway to build a rail spur to Cushing, the primary oil storage hub in the U.S.

Patterson said funds from the sale will be placed, by law, in the department's railroad maintenance revolving fund for safety projects.

"That would include ... rail crossing projects, to make those intersections between trains and automobiles more safe," Patterson said.

The sale is in keeping with what ODOT believes was the Legislature's intent when the agency purchased rail lines during the 1980s, Patterson said.

"When the private sector became prepared to repurchase the lines, that we would sell it back to the private sector so that the state of Oklahoma is not in competition," with private business, according to Patterson.

Patterson said ODOT previously sold to Union Pacific a rail line stretching from the state's border with Kansas to i's border with Texas and has been approached about negotiations to sell what is known as the Cowboy Sub, about 22 miles of rail between Stillwater and Pawnee.