A look at the planned Route 66 Station

I’ve acquired computer artist’s renderings of the Route 66 Station park, which will be in the 3900 block Southwest Boulevard in Tulsa, in a current vacant lot cross the road from Daniel Webster High School.

Route 66 Station will be funded by the Tulsa County Vision 2025 sales tax. I’m told it should be bidded out and under contract by the end of the year. It’s hoped it not only will be a nice tourist attraction, but it will lead people to other tourist attractions in the area.

First off is an overall aeriel rendering of the Route 66 Station:

The centerpiece of the park is a Frisco Meteor 4500 steam locomotive. The first picture is an actual image of the train a similar-looking Frisco Meteor 4501; the second image is the Frisco 4501 in the artist’s rendering.

There also will be a replica of a section of the 11th Street Bridge, aka the Cyrus Avery Bridge, that carried Route 66 over the Arkansas River. This bridge section, however, will be just 14 feet wide, reflecting the original width of the original road. (But there are old sections of “sidewalk highway” Route 66 near Miami, Okla., that are just 9 feet wide.)

This display will pay tribute to McIntyre Airport, which was on Route 66 and served as Tulsa’s first airport. The display will plug the new Tulsa Air and Space Museum.

This is a rendering of a replica of the historic Council Oak. I’m not so sure I care for this, since the real one is just a short drive away. A small “replica” oak seems to diminish the genuine tree somehow.

18 thoughts on “A look at the planned Route 66 Station

  1. So, I gather Tulsa has some sort of arrangement with the Age of Steam Railroad Museum in Dallas, where that steam engine currently (according to the museum web site) resides?

    1. If you check the history of that steam engine, it sat at the Tulsa Zoo for Eons before it was moved down there for restoration and now brought back.

  2. People are going to come to Tulsa to see replicas of things that people don’t go to see in Tulsa in the first place? From the first picture, I thought that maybe we were finally going to get a passenger train again in Tulsa. Now THAT would be exciting. This? Not so much.

  3. Actually, this train has been in the Tulsa area for about 50 years. It was donated to the city in 1954. It was in Mohawk Park until about 1980, then moved to a local railroad yard.

    Last I heard, it was behind a building on Lansing Avenue and Archer Street in Tulsa, getting cleaned up for its eventual move.

    Update: I just noticed the discrepancy in the original photo of the train. That’s the photo of the Southwest Tulsa people gave to me; I didn’t see the difference until you pointed it out. I guess they used the wrong photo.

    Anyway, Dallas has the Frisco Meteor 4501. Tulsa has the Frisco Meteor 4500. That is something I’m sure about.

  4. Yes! The “Meteor” Steam locomotive 4500 and tender is sitting on a siding in Northeast corner of downtown tulsa. The engine was painted blue but is beginning to rust again and the work that has been done will have to be redone. The big engine and tender have been moved like an orphan child several times since it lost its home in Mohawk Park. I really don’t know why it was moved from out from under its shelter at the park until a more suitable location was found. Tulsans will be lucky if the engine and tender survive the ordeal since it is far down on the priority list. At one point the locomotive was in danger of being cut up for scrap and may still be. What a loss that would be!! We,Tulsans, seem to care nothing about artifacts of Tulsas history. Another example was the B-24 Liberator Bomber that languished on the Northeast side of Tulsa International airport for several years. The B-24 was one of nearly 19 thousand built for the war effort during WWII. Over two thousand were built here in Tulsa during WWII. The aircraft was about to be cut up by a local scrap metal dealer until the U.S. Airforce stepped in to save it for a display at Barksdale Airforce base where it now resides in its full glory. What a corner stone display the restored B-24 would have made at the new Tulsa Air & Space Museum. My opinion is that a real effort should be made to find a good home for the locomotive before someone in our glorious city government decides that the city does not or will not allocate the money necessary to bring 4500 back to a good display condition. My hat is off to those that have worked so hard to bring this enormous engine and tender back from the brink of extinction but lets face it with the economy such as it is in “T” town steam locomotives are far down on the list of priority’s!! If you don’t believe me all one has to do is take a tour of the downtown area and see all of the old industrial buildings closed, boarded up and generally in dilapidated condition. Many of the streets in the Tulsa downtown and mid town area are so rough I challenge anyone to try and drink a cup of coffee while traversing the streets of Tulsa. Do we really want to spend almost 800 million dollars in the middle of the river,and that is only a start, just so a handful of developers and the privileged few can enjoy at the expense of all tulsans. That should just about cover it for this evening.

  5. The work goes on. I have been working on the Frisco 4500 project since April 2009. This is on top of many hours worked by others before me. Are there any others out there who don’t want to see this project die? If so, please contact me at 918-691-0879 or see the website https://townwestsertomaclub.org/Frisco4500.htm and come to one of our meetings. We meet every Wednesday at Ollie’s Station Restaurant in Redfork near 41st St on Southwest Blvd. (Old Rt. 66). We would welcome you and we don’t bite.
    Bob Schwarz

    1. Aug. 16th 2011. I’m still waiting. Come on guys. If you can’t swing a paint brush or do carpentry or whatever, at least come out and cheer, or go talk to potential contributors for us, Or hand ME the paint. I’m getting older every day and I think I’m talking to myself here. Am I getting better answers that way?

  6. Is the park open yet? Planning a trip to Tulsa in May 2011 and would like to check out the park.

    1. The park has only the oil derrick on the property right now, and a giant Route 66 shield in front of it. More stuff is planned, but it hasn’t arrived yet.

  7. Bob Schwarz, August 13, 2011
    The oil tanker is in the Village (7-11-2011) from the Cushing, OK – Cimarron RR Museum, donated by my Project Manager and his his Mrs. The 4500 has received its touch-up and looks super-fine. Route 66 Village is coming along nicely. Restoration of the train continues. I meet people from all over the world every time I work at the Village. Every time! Fantastic! I have been fully involved in this endeavor for the last two and a half years and it WILL come to fruition make no mistake about that! This work has seen many volunteers who donate labor and materials and the few dedicated individuals who are the installers and designers of the hardware that you notice that wasn’t there last week; are not always visible in the Village. This is a very large undertaking and you can contribute in many ways. This is all done on a few bucks at a time (donations) and things take time and lots of hard work, sweat, and a can-do attitude. We would love you to attend one of our weekly meetings at Ollies Restaurant any Wednesday at 7 A.M. and talk to me or Mike Massey or Roy Heim or any Sertoma member. People are enjoying this every day and it touches my heart. Yes, it does. Want to get your hands dirty? We are Sertoma. SERvice TO MAnkind. Jump on board with us. We do things. Look us up at townwestsertoma.org or https://route66village.org/
    Bob Schwarz

  8. It is good to see the locomotive, passenger car and caboose on display at the park. But we do need to get passenger service back in Tulsa. There needs to be Amtrak Service again, from Oklahoma City and St. Loujis or Kansas City. To sav e fuel, we need more railways in service again. Tulsa has a major airport, several major highways and major freight railroads. It needs pasenger rail transportation.. Perhaps someday light rail may be again running in Tulsa.

    1. Yes George. I wholeheartedly agree. We have a commission to study that, but at the moment I don’t know what the status is. I will check it out with OKC.

  9. According to hsrupdates.com, The task force to study 80 mph passenger-rail operations between Oklahoma City and Tulsa is expected to submit a final report to the governor by Dec. 31, 2012. Don’t know about you guys, but I’m 63. I’m not holding my breath. Not sure I’ll live to see it.

  10. As of Thursday October 6, 2011 the tank car is now more than half painted. It is silver. Route 66 Village is progressing on all fronts. Physical changes will be coming more frequently as lots of paperwork and behind the scenes procedures have to transpire. Permits etc. don’t happen as quickly as we would like. As far as the train, donations trickle in and we can buy a gallon of paint now and then. One gentleman ( bless him) pulled a couple of 20’s out and said “buy some paint”. We did and it’s on there. The train operates purely on donations – not a penny from anywhere else.

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