April 16, 2022 - TRA Newswire -

Two government entities in East Texas have thrown their support behind establishing passenger rail service between Dallas-Fort Worth and Atlanta, GA. A proposed I-20 daily rail service has now been endorsed with a resolution from the Harrison County Commissioners Court and the Marshall City Council in East Texas.

Richard Anderson, chairman of the I-20 Corridor Council said that this is not high-speed rail, it is a regional rail service and it is not state supported. Speaking before the Harrison County Commissioners Court, Anderson explained that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed by Congress last year would be key to funding and re-establishing an east-west passenger rail link from North and East Texas to Atlanta and the east coast. 

Other previous resolutions of support have been issued by the North East Texas Regional Mobility Authority (NETRMA), City of Longview, Regional Transportation Council of the North Central Texas Council of Government and others.  A previous feasibility and capacity study had been completed for the project. 

Canadian Pacific Railway, which is in process of acquiring Kansas City Southern Railway, has expressed interest in partnering in the process. CP and Amtrak have announced plans to work toward a cooperative agreement how a passenger train service would operate on existing tracks that would be acquired by Canadian Pacific.  

The resolution pointed out the critical need for rail service as the existing Interstate 20 has had no material increase in capacity in almost 60 years even as population growth has mushroomed. A 2017 TxDOT capacity study showed that a capital investment of less than $80 million in Texas would represent a fraction of the cost of conventional highway construction and would not adversely affect freight rail traffic on the route.