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Rail News: Communication and Signal

Texas voters OK plan to fund rail-line relocations, crossing closures

On Tuesday, Texas voters approved Proposition 1, a measure authorizing the state to provide grants and issue bonds through the Texas Rail Relocation and Improvement Fund to finance the relocation, rehabilitation and expansion of freight and passenger rail lines, and elimination of grade crossings.

By relocating rail lines away from congested urban areas and eliminating crossings, the state can reduce train accidents and fatalities, and offer railroad rights of way for commuter rail or highway projects, proponents believe.

“We now have the means to help the freight railroads relocate and improve their original lines throughout the state, and that makes it possible to plan for faster freight and passenger trains,” said Paul Mangelsdorf, executive director of Texas Rail Advocates, in a prepared statement.

Now, the Texas Department of Transportation should begin discussing and prioritizing rail relocation and improvement projects with Union Pacific Railroad, BNSF Railway Co. and Kansas City Southern, Mangelsdorf said. The state also should launch an engineering and feasibility study of the South Central High Speed Rail Corridor, which would enable freight and passenger trains to travel up to 90 mph and 110 mph, respectively, between major cities, he believes.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/11/2005