July 9, 2024 - TRA Newswire -

What kind of rail system do we want to have in future Texas?

Do we want corridor passenger trains, high-speed rail, improvements to at-grade rail crossings, faster transit times for shippers with infrastructure improvements, more quiet zones where trains won't have to sound horns, bring economic development to small and mid-size Texas cities with assistance for short line railroads?

These and other rail improvements can be found in the Texas Rail Plan.

Every four years the Rail Division at the Texas Department of Transportation holds stakeholder meetings to update the state rail plan. The Texas Rail Plan is a federally specified document detailing the state of the rail system in Texas and opportunities for improvement. 

Stakeholder meetings were held in Dallas and San Antonio, and, because of Hurricane Beryl, a Houston meeting this week will be a virtual event with input on developing priorities for the state rail plan. 

Stakeholders were surveyed how to prioritize passenger rail projects. State / federal / local funding seems to be a priority that stakeholders agreed on in the Dallas session.

Now it's time for the public to have their input. 

If you have comments or thoughts about the 2024 Texas Rail Plan update and what you would like to see in the future whether it be for freight rail or passenger rail, contact Jessica.Geray@txdot.gov or Kevin.Keller@hdrinc.com.

The Plan will reflect the latest rail project priorities and fulfill eligibility requirements for federal funding of rail projects. Activities include planning and stakeholder engagement to facilitate the development of policies, programs, and agency-specific strategies to improve the efficiency of freight movement and maintain on-time passenger service.

Stakeholders were also asked how to improve freight rail in Texas. Again state / federal / local funding for freight rail projects made the top priority request for freight rail projects.

The rail system is a vital component of our thriving economy, safely connecting industries, ports, and people without congesting highways. TxDOT can maximize the value of rail through collaboration with private and local stakeholders, and identification and facilitation of important projects.

TxDOT expects to complete the update to the plan in the fall of 2024.