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Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

UP, BNSF partner with Texas to relocate lines away from crowded cities


On Friday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced the state reached agreements with Union Pacific Railroad and BNSF Railway Co. to relocate lines out of densely populated urban areas. Funding arrangements and specific projects haven’t been determined.

The agreement marks the first time a state has partnered with railroads to consolidate, improve or relocate lines away from cities, the governor said in a prepared statement.

“Relocating rail lines from crowded city centers will lead to safer crossings [and] less hazardous cargo carried through populated areas,” he said, adding that because trains no longer will have to slow down when moving through cities, shipments will reach their destination faster.

The state plans to use land now occupied by freight-rail lines to build commuter-rail lines or roads to alleviate traffic congestion.

“Texas is proving that public-private partnerships are the wave of the future because they can provide innovative solutions to real transportation challenges at a price taxpayers can afford,” said Perry.

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More News from 3/22/2005