Purcell, OK (PUR)
Styling itself the “Heart of Oklahoma,” the city was named for Director E.B. Purcell of the Santa Fe Railway. Meetings held in town in fall 1893 helped pave the way to statehood.
East Main Street and North Santa Fe Avenue
Purcell, OK 73080
Annual Station Ridership (2016): 1,693
- Facility Ownership: City of Purcell
- Parking Lot Ownership: City of Purcell, BNSF Railway
- Platform Ownership: BNSF Railway
- Track Ownership: BNSF Railway
- Heartland Flyer
For information about Amtrak fares and schedules, please call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).
The Heartland Flyer is served by a brick station built for it at the bottom of Depot Hill. This single-story structure includes a covered entry and a hipped roof with traditional decorative brackets supporting its wide eaves. This depot was completed in 2001 with a grant from the Great American Stations Foundation. The unstaffed station provides a waiting room and restrooms for passengers.
The town’s Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad station (ATSF), built in 1904, housed one of the well-known Harvey House restaurants, which provided a center for social life in the town for many years. It is not known exactly when that building was demolished; but its replacement was torn down in the mid 1990s, since passenger rail service in the city ceased with the last operation of the Amtrak Lone Star in 1979. The reestablishment of Amtrak service with the Heartland Flyer on June 14, 1999 led to the building of this facility.
Purcell, which styles itself as the “Heart of Oklahoma,” was first settled by the Chickasaw Nation in 1837 after being displaced from their homeland in Mississippi by state and federal acts, and purchasing land in Oklahoma from the Choctaws. The Chickasaw, which are still very much present and independent today in Purcell, became the first cattle ranchers in the area, bringing their African-American slaves with them from the South. Before coming to the new Indian Territory, the Chickasaw were already renowned as horse breeders, and continue this tradition today.
The city was named for ATSF Director E.B. Purcell, when the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railroad arrived at the South Canadian River crossing community in 1887, meeting the ATSF. The railroads that met here provided a way to ship cattle to market and open up the “unassigned lands” in Oklahoma.
On September 30, 1893, in Purcell, representatives from Indian Territory and Oklahoma Territory held the first meetings whose goal was single statehood. When statehood was granted on November 16, 1897, the event was celebrated widely in Purcell.
With its location on the South Canadian River, Purcell, the “Queen City of the Chickasaw Nation,” became a traveling and shipping hub and the second-largest cotton distribution point in Indian Territory. Among Purcell’s leading products in 1901 were cotton, wheat, corn, hogs and cattle. Businesses included cotton gins, a cottonseed oil mill, and a flour mill. Purcell became a commercial crossroads when construction on the Oklahoma Central Railway reached the community in March 1907.
Purcell makes it’s living today from its oil leases, cattle ranching, agriculture and state-of-the-art quarterhorse and thoroughbred ranching.
Amtrak does not provide ticketing or baggage services at this facility, which is served by two daily trains.
The Heartland Flyer is financed primarily through funds made available by the Oklahoma and Texas Departments of Transportation.
- Accessible Platform
- Accessible Waiting Room
- Enclosed Waiting Area
- Long Term Parking Spaces
- Short Term Parking Spaces
- Wheelchair Lift