Section 3: Abandoned Railroad Corridors as a Resource for Transportation Projects

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The Surface Transportation Board (STB), an independent agency of the United States Department of Transportation, or the railroad itself notifies the department when a railroad operator intends to abandon a rail segment within the state. The Multimodal Section then takes action to notify the affected TxDOT district in which the segment is located to discuss the appropriate course of action by the department.

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Potential Use by TxDOT or Other Parties

The district evaluates the rail corridor to determine the possibility of future use by the department. An evaluation report, along with any supporting documents, is submitted to the Systems Planning Section outlining potential future uses and providing recommendations for the corridor. TPP evaluates the report and makes recommendations to the appropriate district and divisions on pursuing the rail corridor for alternative uses.

Prospective alternative use corridors are not limited to one mode of transportation. For example, abandoned rail corridors may include trestles (railroad bridges) that could serve as adequate pedestrian and/or bicycle bridges. TxDOT may determine that filing for public use conditions to prohibit railroad companies from removing the trestle would best serve the public interest. Other public or private agencies may also file for public use conditions.

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