The freight rail operation is one of the lesser-known components of Capital Metro. We blogged about the basics last month. But what’s also important to know is not just that we carry freight on our rail line but that we have to carry it.
Back in the day when Capital Metro acquired the railroad, we inherited a federal common carrier obligation. Basically this means we’re required to provide service to any freight customers along our line as long as the operation complies with all federal regulations (including FRA safety rules).
Our Board Rail Committee’s been discussing this since there’s a developer planning to build an ethanol distribution facility out near Decker Lane and connect to it via our freight line.
The good news is whatever we carry by freight would otherwise have to be transported by truck, adding to highway congestion and pollution. Another plus is we estimate that this operation would generate about $250,000 in revenue for Capital Metro each year.
Check out this PowerPoint that our freight manager presented to the Rail Committee earlier this month: