April 25, 2024 - TRA Newswire -

From high-speed rail and a growing Texas economy causing congestion to the future of freight rail expansion and how it can affect Texas ports were some of the topics discussed with a Transportation Reporters and Writers Roundtable during an hour-long give and take at the Southwestern Rail Conference this month. 

"The Houston region and the Dallas region, there are a lot of people that want (high-speed) rail. There is a lot of land and some people that live between those two points... and convincing them that they get something out of high-speed rail has been a challenge". The words of Houston Chronicle Transportation Reporter Dug Begley. 

Watch the interchange between transportation writers and reporters: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9shcggGOVJ8

Railway Age writer David Peter Alan looked at how commuter rail rider dynamics have changed since the pandemic, having  transit providers questioning their train schedules. "Who is it (riding) and who needs to ride" and what time and day they need rail service are some of the questions that need to be asked, according to Alan. 

Economist and reporter Jim Blaze thinks that railroads should look at their business model serving ports, such as at the Port of Houston. While freight railroads shy away from short-hauls they might not think to be profitable, maybe they should offer to have a contracted short-haul intermodal operator pull those containers instead. 

Houston Chronicle's Begley looked at how the sprawl of business, industry and the city's population has railroads in Houston being blamed for blocking crossings that create traffic snafus.