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.
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.