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Kim_Gatley
Kim Gatley
S
enior Vice President & Director of Research at REOC San Antonio

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Despite Setback, Lone Star Rail Moves Forward

Proposed LSRD regional rail line.

Proposed LSRD regional rail line.

The decision by Union Pacific to end its working relationship with Lone Star Rail District (LSRD) in February, was a blow in efforts to develop a passenger rail line between San Antonio and Austin.

Many board members said Union Pacific’s choice to stop working with Lone Star Rail was disappointing, but that they hoped the company would return. The completion of the impact study is crucial to the project, because it would enable future funding, including federal money. The district expects to finish the environmental impact process by 2018.

The board of directors voted 12-1, and asked the organization to continue its Environmental Impact Study process, and ensure that the process includes all alternative options.

District officials have lauded the option of turning a UP freight line into a passenger line as a solid project that benefits all stakeholders, including cities along the I-35 corridor that would like to see a reduction in freight traffic at intersections.

The district has been looking at potential routes for a different freight line east of I-35. Supporters of the project see it as a way to improve safety for motorists along the corridor, and decreasing vehicular congestion, seen as a negative to continued economic development. Board members said they understand the process to arrive at solutions for I-35 is long and complicated, but necessary.

Click here to read the full article: Despite Setback, Lone Star Rail Moves Forward (The Rivard Report, 4-16-2016)

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