South Orient Rehabilitation
In 2001, TxDOT acquired the South Orient Rail Line, a 391-mile long short-line railroad extending from Coleman County to Presidio, at the Texas-Mexico border. TxDOT leased the rail line to Texas Pacifico Transportation LTD (TXPF), a short-line freight railroad operator. TxDOT uses grants and operational fees in partnership with TXPF funding to rehabilitate track segments.
TXPF funded reconstruction of the Presidio-Ojinaga International Rail Bridge in July 2019. In 2020, TxDOT is using a $7 million FAST Act grant from the Federal Railroad Administration with approximately $3 million in private railroad funds to rehabilitate the railroad in Presidio County, enabling direct rail connections to BNSF Railway, Union Pacific Railroad, Fort Worth & Western Railroad, Kansas City Southern via trackage rights and Ferromex Railroad in Mexico. Improvements to the railroad include clearing obstructed drainage features, replacement of timber box culverts with corrugated metal pipe, replacement of cross ties and associated securement, installation of ballast, track surfacing, repairs to timber bridges and minor reconstruction of 35 grade crossings. Construction is scheduled for completion in April 2021.