Freight rail relocation in the Austin-San Antonio corridor is an important focus for the Lone Star
Rail District. The preferred alignment for the planned LSTAR passenger service is currently used
each day by several dozen freight trains traveling through the region. Though these trains are not
serving local customers, they have a major impact on the communities in the corridor.
Relocating that through-traffic will help meet current and future demands for rail transportation,
of both people and goods, within and through Central and South Texas. This will in turn improve
mobility for travelers within the fast-growing and already-congested I-35 corridor.
About the Freight Rail Relocation Project
Lone Star Rail is studying alternatives for a proposed new freight rail line along the eastern edge of the Austin-San Antonio corridor region - between Taylor and Seguin.
This line would carry Union Pacific Railroad through traffic that would be rerouted from the current I-35 corridor, connecting with existing freight rail infrastructure to the north (toward Waco and Dallas) and to the south (into San Antonio). Freight trains serving local customers along the existing I-35 line would continue to use that line along with the LSTAR. The project also includes enhancements to current rail infrastructure between Seguin and San Antonio.
Lone Star Rail and Union Pacific have executed a memorandum of understanding guiding their collaboration on this project. The completed new line would be owned and managed by Union Pacific, which would transfer ownership and management of the existing I-35 line to Lone Star Rail and the State of Texas.
Where We Are Now
Lone Star Rail is currently conducting engineering, environmental, and economic studies on this project, funded by TxDOT and CAMPO. Lone Star Rail and TxDOT have to date engaged in a rigorous alternatives analysis of hundreds of potential alignments of the new freight line, a select few of which will be advanced for further study and public comment.
The alternatives analysis seeks to identify viable alignments that meet engineering and operational criteria while creating the fewest impacts upon existing environmental features, communities and neighborhoods, and affected property owners. Further study, including public involvement, will identify which alignment(s) best meet these criteria and how any resulting impacts might be mitigated.