Study to look at high speed rail service development in East Texas


KILGORE, TX - The East Texas Corridor Council's (ETCC) governmental affairs chair, Harrison County Judge Richard Anderson, announces receiving a letter of intent from Amtrak officials that TxDOT and Amtrak will soon be requesting the Union Pacific Railroad (UP) to move forward with a feasibility study for additional passenger rail services along the 1-20 / US 59 corridors in East Texas.
A letter from Amtrak's Vice President, Transportation, Richard Phelps, received on August 17, states an agreement should be reached in the next several weeks to finalize reimbursement of capacity modeling expenses during the study. Phelps states Amtrak is fully prepared to then finalize an agreement with TxDOT and progress with the feasibility study. At that time, UP will also be able to provide Amtrak and TxDOT with an estimated timing for completion of its portion of the study, which will permit Amtrak to progress with the development of the scope and cost of capital expenditures that may be required to begin the service. This will also include an analysis of projected ridership and revenues for the new service. 
"Not since the reintroduction of passenger rail service to East Texas in 1974, has TxDOT, Amtrak and the public need all been in agreement on the importance of moving forward with this project," says ETCC Chair Tim Vaughn.
"This is the most significant event in passenger rail service in East Texas since 1974," says Harrison County Judge Richard Anderson. 
For more information, contact ETCC's Executive Director, Griff Hubbard, at 903.757.5734 or ETCOG's Executive Director, David Cleveland, at 903.984.8641 x221. 

ETCC Timeline

About ETCC
The East Texas Corridor Council is a regional organization seeking capacity investments to secure higher speed rail along the I-20 and US 59 corridors from Dallas/Fort Worth to Arkansas and Louisiana border connections. ETCOG is the administrative and fiscal agent for the ETCC.

The East Texas Council of Governments (ETCOG) is a voluntary association of counties, cities, school districts and special districts within the fourteen-county East Texas region. ETCOG assists local governments in planning for common needs, cooperating for mutual benefit and coordinating for sound regional development. Established in 1970, ETCOG, either directly, or through its contractors, provides programs and services for East Texas seniors, employers, and job seekers. ETCOG and its contractors also build the 9-1-1 emergency call delivery system, provide peace officer training and homeland security planning services; and deliver rural transportation services, business finance programs, and environmental grant funding for the region.