Shortline railroads continue to emphasize their role as a critical economic link and job provider in events with elected representatives.
Rep. John Carter, a Republican from the 31st District, on Wednesday met with company executives to tour the Temple & Central Texas Railway, one of 12 short line railroads managed by Patriot Rail Company LLC, a member of the American Short Line & Regional Railroad Association.
The tour was led by David Lutz, Operations Manager for TC. “It was a privilege hosting Congressman Carter and sharing our commitment to Central Texas with him,” said Lutz. “TC is committed to providing safe, reliable and efficient rail services to our customers in Central Texas.”
The TC operates more than 10 miles of rail line in the Central Pointe Rail Park, a 3,500-acre industrial park with more than 50 tenants. It is located between Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. TC was awarded an exclusive long-term license agreement by the City of Temple to provide rail switching and other rail-related services to customers at the Park. TC interchanges traffic with BNSF Railway.
“Freight rail is imperative to economic growth and prosperity, and I am proud to represent one of our nation’s premier short line rail lines supporting our economy in Central Texas,” said Carter. “It was a pleasure to learn more about the Temple & Central Texas Railway, the services they provide in Texas 31st District, and meet with and listen to the concerns of their employees. Their commitment to providing impeccable rail service in Temple has enabled Central Texas businesses to thrive.”
The rail company discussed the importance of the 45G short line tax credit to maintaining a reliable and safe freight network. The tax credit expired at the end of 2016. The Building Rail Access for Customers and the Economy Act (BRACE Act) would make the tax credit permanent. The BRACE Act currently has 241 cosponsors in the House and 53 cosponsors in the Senate.
In Texas, 52 freight railroads operate and maintain over 10,000 miles of track and support almost 17,000 jobs, according to ASLRRA.