Steps made towards Shreveport to Dallas passenger rail - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Steps made towards Shreveport to Dallas passenger rail

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Before the interstate system, travelers turned to the railways for transportation on land. The Texas Department of Transportation estimates that by 2020, interstate traffic between Dallas and Shreveport on I-20 will increase by 70 percent. In response, East Texas law makers and rail companies took steps toward giving passenger trains a comeback.

"If we don't develop transportation alternatives, that 2.5 hr trip to DFW could easily stretch into a five hour trip," said Judge Richard Anderson of the East Texas Corridor Council.

Lead by the ETCC, a coalition of Amtrak, TXDOT, Union Pacific and local governments worked to initiate a study of how effective rail travel could be. The feasibility study will look at the possibility of increasing speeds on existing railways for passenger trains traveling up to 80 miles an hour.

"We're looking at participating with our partners … to get an extension of that track from Marshall over to Shreveport-Bossier," Anderson said.

A passenger train from Shreveport to Dallas could relieve pressure added by Texas's growth.

 "Rail passenger movement has to be in the quiver as part of the solution for the state to relieve congestion as the state of Texas continues to grow," said Bill Glavin, the director of TXDOT's Rail Division.

The study is a major step towards the passenger train extension and will take about seven months.

Copyright 2012 KSLA. All rights reserved.

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