February 19, 2021 - TRA Newswire -

Freight and passenger rail systems in Texas are coming back to life after being hammered by record cold, two snow storms, ice, frozen switches and power failures since last Sunday.

The storms shut down all passenger rail operations in Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and Austin and as of today most are returning with limited service.

Freight rail handling throughout the state was significantly impacted for both Class 1 and short line operators.

Here is a summary of restoration for passenger rail services:

Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) light rail resumed a Saturday service schedule today
DFW's Trinity Railway Express (TRE) is operating on a Saturday schedule
Trinity Metro's TEXRail is operating on a modified schedule through the 21st
Houston METRORail is operating a combination of rail and bus shuttle services on the Red, Purple and Green lines
CapMetro's Red Line train service in Austin will resume on Monday, February 22. Track inspections are now underway. CapMetro bus service fare collection has been suspended through the 21st.
Amtrak's Heartland Flyer resumes its Fort Worth to Oklahoma City service on Saturday the 20th
Amtrak's Texas Eagle northbound train #22 originating in San Antonio will resume service on Tuesday 23rd, southbound train #21 originating in Chicago will restart on Tuesday 23rd, arriving in Texas stations on Wednesday the 24th.

Impact on freight rail movements in Texas:

Union Pacific is set to reopen intermodal terminals today after closing them earlier this week. Freight trains moving south out of the Chicago area continued to be hampered by significant snowfall. Snow at terminals in Little Rock and Pine Bluff, Ark., as well as ice in eastern Texas and northern Louisiana, continued to affect operations.

BNSF Railway reported that record cold temperatures and significant snow  experienced across the North Region and stretching deep into Texas and parts of the Gulf Coast significantly impacted network operations. In Texas, many trains were currently holding due to widespread power outages and road closures that have affected the ability to move train crews and other personnel.

Kansas City Southern (KCS) informed customers that power outages in the Houston, Corpus Christi, and Dallas areas led to significant impacts on operations. KCS said shippers will need to allow for delays until resulting backlogs can be alleviated in both Mexico and the United States.