Where Commuter Rail Might Come From

WHERE COMMUTER RAIL MIGHT COME FROM “We may have commuter rail to Galveston and Hempstead as early as 2012,” declares rail watcher Christof Spieler. So who’s gonna make it happen? How about . . . the Gulf Coast Freight Rail District? “The GCFRD just advertised for and received qualifications for firms to do $2 million in engineering studies, to be completed by June 2010, for 90 mph commuter rail lines sharing freight rail tracks along 290 from Hempstead to just inside 610 and from Galveston to just inside 610. This spring, the Texas Legislature expanded GCFRD’s mission to include intercity passenger rail; despite its name, the district has already been empowered to build commuter rail. Waller and Galveston counties are now joining the GCFRD, making the district the only entity short of TxDOT that covers both of those lines.” [Intermodality]

3 Comment

  • Its about time! I can’t wait till they get this thing started…

  • Remember, this is just a study.

    It may come out saying that there is insufficient capacities and all the other potential issues that need to be addressed regarding commuter rail.

    The thing a study like this does is that it’ll help quantify all the potential problems and then a cost to overcome them can be associated.

    It could be good results or bad….

  • KJB is dead on. These type of studies are just the first preliminary step. I would not expect any action from them for at least 10 years at best. Obviously there would need to be rail improvements to facilitate 90mph trains, station improvements, and the actual purchase of the train itself. Then the question is how much will it cost and how will it be paid for? I don’t think that the fares will cover the costs in any kind of realistic recovery period, so it will need to be subsidized, which means long drawn out negotiations with Metro and likely the state and federal level of funding. On the bright side, at least it is a little bit of stimulus for the engineering field.