Researchers at TTI’s Transportation Policy Research Center provide Texas multiple considerations before it embarks on Public Freight Rail Projects (PFRPs).
In its Legislative Appropriations Request for fiscal years (FY) 2016–2017, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) included an exceptional-items request for $160.6 million in FY 2016 and $347.4 million in FY 2017 to enhance infrastructure on publicly owned short line railroads and Class I freight railroad facilities in Beaumont and Houston.
The Texas Freight Mobility Plan estimates that rail tonnage will almost double by 2040, and as Texas continues to grow, consumers and businesses will demand more results from the railroad network. While TxDOT’s request was not funded by the 84th Texas Legislature, the request raises the issue of how such PFRPs can be administered in Texas.
Public freight rail projects involve the public sector in private freight railroad projects. This report describes:
- How PFRPs differ from other highway P3s being pursued in Texas;
- How Texas statutes create institutions for freight railroad projects;
- Lessons learned from case studies in other states; and
- How to apply best practices to PFRPs in Texas.
This report builds upon previous Transportation Policy Research Center reports: