The TxDOT Rail Division conducted a comprehensive analysis of the freight transportation network to identify mutually beneficial mobility improvements. In addition to rail operations modeling and conceptual designs to improve freight rail efficiency, the study refined infrastructure solutions needed to support expanded passenger service on the Trinity Railway Express, planned rail improvements to allow new passenger service on the Madill Subdivision, and developed plans and cost estimates for solutions at priority highway-railroad grade crossings.
The summary report highlights findings and recommended next steps.
Concepts for rail-highway improvements are grouped by county:
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.
Outcome: A program of projects to address freight rail mobility needs and congestion near public highway-railroad crossings.
Schedule: The project team is finalizing revisions requested through the stakeholder input process. A final report is expected in early summer 2021.
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|
|Needs Assessment Report|
|Video - Reviving the South Orient Railroad|
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.
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 August 2021. The final report will contain environmental and community impact assessments, financial feasibility analysis, engineering, and action plans for implementation.
Rail Planning Section Manager
125 E. 11th St.
Austin, TX 78701