CAMPO board votes to remove Lone Star Rail project

The Lone Star Rail would run from Georgetown to San Antonio.
The Lone Star Rail would run from Georgetown to San Antonio.

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The future of the $2 billion Lone Star Rail Project was determined by a unanimous vote on Monday. In the 18-0 vote, the Capital Area Metro Planning Organization (CAMPO) voted to remove the proposed rail line from its 2040 plan.

The proposal would have more than 30 trains running between Georgetown and San Antonio every day. However, a roadblock was presented in Feburary when Union Pacific pulled out of the deal to share tracks with the commuter rail.

“It is clear that we need viable mass transit between San Antonio and Austin. The way we’re continuing forward seems to be a more direct path than continuing with Lone Star,” said Mayor Adler.

In the works for more than 10 years, nearly $30 million has already gone into planning. The goal with the Lone Star Rail was to utilize the current Union Pacific rail line and have a commuter train run in an effort to reduce traffic on roads like MoPac. While the train was slated to run on 117 miles of track there were multiple proposed stops throughout north and central Austin.

RAIL OPTIONS

  • Conventional Rail: Trains would travel at speeds ranging from 70-90 mph; service could be on existing tracks
  • Higher Speed Rail: Trains would travel at speeds ranging from 110-125 mph; service could be on existing and new tracks
  • High Speed Rail: Trains would travel at speeds ranging from 165-220 mph; service would be on new tracks designed for HSR

The Texas-Oklahoma Passenger Rail Study looked at the feasibility of developing the rail, which could either be Amtrak-style or a true high-speed rail option. The study broke the rail service into three segments: a northern segment from Oklahoma City to Dallas/Fort Worth; a central segment running from DFW to San Antonio; and the southernmost section from San Antonio to South Texas.

So what’s next? Board members on CAMPO have stated they want to partner with TXDOT to find an alternative, which has yet to be announced.

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