Chapter 5: Railroad

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Section 1: Railroad Planning

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Overview

Since the formation of TxDOT in 1991 by the 72nd Legislature, the department has become increasingly involved in monitoring and evaluating rail transportation within the state. The legislation which formed the department required that it incorporate “rail and high-speed rail” as part of statewide transportation planning.

Texas Legislation. The Texas Transportation Plan documents the mandate given to TxDOT by the 72nd Legislature concerning the inclusion of all modes of transportation in statewide planning Texas Transportation Code, (Section 201.601). The legislation specifically addresses rail transportation as one of the essential modes.

At various times, the Texas Legislature has directed the department to administer grants or loans to specific rail transportation providers. The legislature appropriates funds from general revenue for that purpose.

Policy. Policy for railroad planning is found in the Texas Transportation Plan (1994). Railroad planning supports many of the established policies, with special emphases on the following:

  • Policy Number 3. Maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of freight transportation.
  • Policy Number 7. Maximize preservation of existing infrastructure and services for all modes of transportation.
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