September 6, 2017 – TRA Newswire –
Railroad crews didn’t take time off from Labor Day weekend and were kept busy in recovery efforts along the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast following a battering by Hurricane Harvey and torrential flooding. Rail operation have resumed in much of the region in Houston and to the west while lines in the far southeastern tip of Texas are still undergoing repairs.
Amtrak service between San Antonio, through Houston and Lake Charles Louisiana to New Orleans has been suspended until freight railroad repairs are completed.
The Houston region is once again on the move as the transit authority resumed normal operations. All METRORail service was restored on Tuesday and the Red, Green and Purple Lines are back to running on their regular schedule.
BNSF Railway’s Pearland intermodal center is open for business after floodwaters receded.
In an advisory BNSF indicated “the Longview and Silsbee Subdivisions near the Louisiana border are out of service at the present time. In addition, direct rail service between Houston and locations in Louisiana, which includes access through Dayton and Beaumont utilizing our trackage rights, remains blocked as restoration efforts are ongoing. Based on current estimates, however, our Longview and Silsbee subdivisions as well as the impacted main lines east of Houston are expected to return to service within the next 24 hours.”
BNSF also reported “we are also experiencing ongoing challenges involving the primary rail line that provides access, via our trackage rights, to locations southwest of Houston, including Corpus Christi and Brownsville. Major bridge repair work that is needed near Sweeny, Texas will require an extended track outage. We are re-routing or diverting as much traffic as possible around this affected location as well as other areas that are currently blocked.”
Union Pacific Railroad reported that significant embargoes remained in effect. Flooding remains a problem in portions of Southeast Texas close to the Louisiana border and that includes the Beaumont, Port Arthur and Orange areas.
In a UP advisory the railroad stated “We continue to make great strides restoring our Gulf Coast operations impacted by the aftermath of Tropical Storm Harvey. Where repairs have been completed we are, or will soon be, operating trains. We will continue to do everything we can to restore service as your facilities come back on line and your teams return to work, but we ask for your patience as the safety and well-being of our employees and their families is our top priority. As work continues, we remain committed to providing the most up-to-date feedback to allow your teams to make effective decisions for your operations. The change in traffic flows has created crew availability challenges.”
UP announced that the following areas have been returned to service:
- Baytown Subdivision between Market Street Yard and Dayton, Texas
- Coleto Creek Subdivision running west out of Victoria, Texas
- Sealy Industrial Lead from Sealy to Katy, Texas
- Kosmos Industrial Lead from Sinton Junction to just north of Ingleside, Texas
- Strang Subdivision from Houston to the LaPorte/Strang, Texas, area as a result of repairs to the bridge over the Sims Bayou
UP further stated that “the primary focus now is opening lines between Houston and Beaumont, Texas. Once this portion of our railroad is opened, we will be able to operate traffic directly from the Livonia and Avondale, Louisiana, areas to Houston without the need to run the trains through Pine Bluff, Arkansas.”
Kansas City Southern announced a partial reopening of the Rosenberg subdivision which allows for rail traffic from Mexico to proceed to its Houston intermodal facility. The Beaumont subdivision remains closed with high river water levels reported.