December 8, 2023 - TRA Newswire -

County Judges from two of Texas' largest metropolitan areas say that it's time for trains to connect their regions and beyond.

Bexar County Judge Peter Sakai and Travis County Judge Andy Brown were on X (formerly Twitter) to advocate for passenger rail service in the Lone Star Rail Corridor.  (see Fox7 Austin story and video:

How great would it be to take a train to see the instead of driving on I-35?  Great panel with at the first annual 2023 Catalyst Summit by Austin Area Research Organization to talk about the future of our Super-Region!

Judge Sakai wants fans to arrive relaxed and ready for San Antonio Spurs games by getting off I-35 and coming in by train. Travis County Judge Brown says the time is right for building a service not only between Austin and San Antonio but extending it all along the Lone Star Rail Corridor to Dallas-Fort Worth and down to Laredo.

This follows last week's testimony in Washington by Austin Mayor Kirk Watson who is also advocating for passenger rail to connect Texas' triangle cities where the majority of people live. 

"Texas Rail Advocates is very supportive and will be working with all interested parties along the entire Lone Star Rail Corridor (I-35) to let TxDOT, the Texas Transportation Commission and our state lawmakers know that the public wants trains and they want to start actively working to get them now," according to TRA President Peter LeCody.

The mayor and judges are getting a grass roots push from younger citizens of Texas involved in moving plans forward. Two groups, Restart Lone Star Rail District, founded by Clay Anderson and SART, San Antonians for Rail Transit have been vocal this year about having trains as a transportation choice.

Anderson told KXAN-Austin "A train just makes sense. It's a no brainer, and I feel like it is a low-hanging fruit. If we can get this done, then we can get so many other things done." He went on to highlight the need to swiftly build a high-quality service to entice people to forego their cars.

In April, the Texas Department of Transportation filed for a Corridor Identification Planning Grant with the Federal Railroad Administration to advance passenger rail along the entire Lone Star Rail Corridor (the I-35 travel corridor) from Dallas-Fort Worth to Laredo.