Rail Division Current Projects
Texas Department of Transportation
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Metroplex Freight Mobility Study

Purpose: To conduct a comprehensive analysis of the freight transportation network to identify mutually beneficial mobility improvements.

Outcome: A program of projects to address freight and passenger rail mobility needs in the North Central Texas region.

Phase I Report: The first phase of the study describes projects that will better integrate freight and passenger rail service. The Phase I Report includes capacity improvement concepts and implementation guidance.

Project Outline

TxDOT is conducting an analysis of the freight and passenger rail transportation network to identify mutually beneficial mobility improvements. The 2010 Dallas-Fort Worth Regional Freight Study identified infrastructure improvements such as highway-rail grade separation projects. Projects have been identified in the Texas Freight Mobility Plan and North Central Texas Council of Governments Transportation Improvement Program. However, conditions have changed over the past 10 years. Both freight and passenger rail volumes have increased. Communities in the region have continued to grow resulting in changing land use and traffic patterns.  

Understanding existing rail volume, planned rail capacity improvements and other rail operational information helps identify priority areas for improvements. Areas with daily train volume over 30 trains per day are a primary focus.

In addition, understanding existing roadway volume near rail crossings, planned roadway improvements, and other local traffic patterns helps identify priority areas for improvements. Approximately five percent of the public at-grade highway-rail crossings in the region have an average daily traffic volume over 20,000 vehicles per day.

Project Schedule

TxDOT hosted an online survey in December 2019 and continues to work with local governments, railroads, and regional transportation agencies. The Phase I Report concentrated on integrating freight and passenger rail to support increased capacity. In Spring 2020, we prepared a broader plan prioritizing grade crossing and freight rail mobility projects across the Metroplex.

Get Involved

The project team is seeking your input to help identify potential improvements to address freight and passenger rail mobility needs.   

Suggestions and concerns about rail-highway crossings in the Houston or Beaumont areas? Your feedback is needed!

TxDOT is compiling data on congested railroad crossings and we need your opinions and experiences at these locations.

Email the project team.

You can also visit the Federal Railroad Administration Safety Map to get data about a crossing. Zoom in or search for a city, click on a crossing point, and use the pop-up menu to find the data reports called "INV_LINK" and "ACC_LINK."


Purpose of the Houston-Beaumont Freight Rail Study

To conduct a comprehensive analysis of the freight rail network in the Houston and Beaumont regions to identify mutually beneficial mobility improvements.

Outcome: A program of projects to address freight rail mobility needs and congestion near public highway-railroad crossings.

The TxDOT Rail Division is modeling potential freight rail improvements in the Houston and Beaumont regions. The study will include concept development for expansion, operations, rail-highway improvements, and execution strategies to improve the efficiency of through-freight rail operations and road user mobility.

Schedule: The project team is currently gathering data for rail traffic modeling and seeking feedback from you to help identify community priorities. The team is modeling and assessing potential rail operational improvements and designing bridge concepts to separate rail from roads at priority locations. The full report will be published in February 2021.


South Orient Rail Line

The South Orient Rail Line is a state-owned facility that runs from Presidio, on the Mexican border, to San Angelo Junction. It was constructed to interchange with Ferromex at Presidio, but the Presidio-Ojinaga International Rail Bridge is not currently operational.

The line interchanges with Union Pacific Railroad at Alpine and with BNSF Railway and the Fort Worth and Western Railroad at San Angelo Junction. Texas Pacifico Transportation Ltd. (TXPF) operates over the South Orient Rail Line under a lease and operating agreement with TxDOT.

Rail Line Information Format
Utility Rail Crossing Requests
State Rehabilitation Projects
Benefit Cost Analysis
Lease and Operating Agreement
Operations Analysis
Needs Assessment Report
Video - Reviving the South Orient Railroad


Annual Inspection Reports Format

Rittiman-Walzem Rail Crossing Concepts

The at-grade rail-highway crossings at Rittiman Rd. and Walzem Rd. in San Antonio are heavily traversed by passenger and freight vehicles, and train traffic is expected to increase. Community stakeholders and the Texas Freight Mobility Plan call for additional study to determine feasibility of grade separating these locations. Although no funding is currently available, the TxDOT Rail Division will advance initial concepts developed in the broader study of this Union Pacific corridor.

The study began in July 2020 and is expected to conclude in the summer of 2021. TxDOT is working with the railroad and local governments to assess traffic movements and build consensus for concepts to take to the broader community. The final report will contain environmental and community impact assessments, financial feasibility analysis, engineering, and action plans that can be used to apply for federal discretionary grants.

Statewide Study of Grade Separation

This study will identify rail and roadway system alternatives to improve vehicular/rail interaction in various locations statewide. Tasks will include data collection and screening, feasibility, conceptual engineering, cost estimates, and initial benefit-cost analysis to support preparation of potential federal grant applications. This will allow TxDOT to identify up to 20 potential grade crossing separation projects across the state and compliment similar methodologies used recently in studies of Houston, DFW, San Antonio, Austin, and Laredo.

Work began in May 2020 and is set to conclude in June 2021. The final report will contain environmental and community impact assessments, financial feasibility analysis, engineering, and action plans for implementation.


Contact Us

Rail Planning Section Manager
125 E. 11th St.
Austin, TX 78701

(512) 486-5815




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