May 10, 2022 - TRA Newswire -

TNW Corporation CEO Paul Treangen, President of the Texas Short Line and Regional Railroad Association, testified on April 26th before the Texas House of Representatives' Transportation Committee on the role of short lines in meeting the state's future transportation needs.

The Texas Transportation Committee is currently conducting a study to assess current and future transportation needs and consider improvements to ensure Texas is adequately planning for the state’s population growth forecasts.

Texas, with 41 short line railroads, is one of the few states that has not participated in Federal Rail Administration funding options to assist and encourage short line railroad capital investment to relieve the growing pressure on their roads and highways.

“The recent federal llJA funding has been called a ‘once in a generation opportunity’. If we are unable to engage our legislature, TxDOT and short line railroads in an effort to improve our state’s rail network, Texas will miss out,” said Treangen. “We believe the unfunded Texas Railroad Relocation and Infrastructure Fund (RRIF)  is just one option to support this effort through public-private partnerships.”

Texas voters approved the RRIF in 2006 but the legislature never gave it a kickstart appropriation.

Short line railroads are Class 3 common carriers that ensure competitive transportation options and drive economic development.

They connect the first and last mile of freight moves, serving as direct access to the Class 1 rail network. Texas short lines represent:

· Significant mileage: 20% of the freight rail network

· High paying jobs: 1,500+ employees

· Significant investment: on average, short lines reinvest 25-35% of total annual revenues to maintain and provide basic physical plant improvements

· Public benefit: handling an average of 360,000 carloads annually = 1,260,000 truckloads that are not moving on state and county roads

TNW Corporation operates three short line railroads and logistics centers in Texas and owns the largest private railcar storage facilities in the United States.