On April 26, Paul Treangen, CEO of TNW Corporation (TNW) and President of the Texas Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (TSLRRA), testified before the Texas House of Representatives’ Transportation Committee, representing the forty-one short line railroads in the state. The Texas Transportation Committee is currently conducting a study to assess current and future transportation needs and consider improvements to ensure Texas is adequately planning for the state’s population growth forecasts.
Texas is one of the few states that has not participated in Federal Rail Administration funding options to assist and encourage short line railroad capital investment to relieve the growing pressure on their roads and highways. “The recent federal llJA funding has been called a ‘once in a generation opportunity’. If we are unable to engage our legislature, TxDOT and short line railroads in an effort to improve our state’s rail network, Texas will miss out,” said Treangen. “We believe the unfunded Texas Railroad Relocation and Infrastructure Fund is just one option to support this effort through public-private partnerships.” Short line railroads are Class 3 common carriers that ensure competitive transportation options and drive economic development. They connect the first and last mile of freight moves, serving as direct access to the Class 1 rail network. Texas short lines represent:
- Significant mileage: 20% of the freight rail network
- High paying jobs: 1,500+ employees
- Significant investment: on average, short lines reinvest 25-35% of total annual revenuesto maintain and provide basic physical plant improvements
- Public benefit: handling an average of 360,000 carloads annually = 1,260,000 truckloadsthat are not moving on state and county roads