Capital Metro Approves New Passenger & Freight Rail Contracts

At the board meeting this afternoon, the Capital Metro Board approved two new contracts for rail service. Below is the press release.

Capital Metro Approves New Passenger & Freight Rail Contracts
December 9, 2009

Austin, Texas – Capital Metro’s Board of Directors approved two new contracts today for passenger and freight rail operations and maintenance:

• Herzog Transit Services, Inc. will operate the MetroRail system and coordinate maintenance for the Giddings to Llano rail line for a period of five years for an amount not to exceed $61,049,355, including contingency.

• Watco Companies, Inc. will operate Capital Metro’s freight line for five years and nine months for an amount estimated to be $33,902,434.

Herzog will begin work immediately to complete the remaining steps in the MetroRail project. This change will not affect the estimated timeline for beginning passenger service in the first quarter of 2010.

“It is our responsibility to get this rail line opened and to protect the interests of our community,” said Capital Metro’s interim President/CEO Doug Allen. “The actions we are taking today accomplish both of these objectives.”

Herzog currently operates passenger rail systems in Dallas-Fort Worth (Trinity Railway Express), Albuquerque, NM (Rail Runner), Stockton, CA (Altamont Commuter Express), and Oceanside, CA (Coaster), and has been in the railroad industry for 40 years.

“Herzog Transit Services, Inc. welcomes the opportunity to serve Capital Metro and the people of Central Texas as your passenger rail contractor,” said Herzog President Robert J. Smith. “Herzog has a long history of successful passenger service start ups and service transitions around the country, and we look forward to a safe, long and mutually beneficial relationship.”

Watco has been operating Capital Metro’s freight line since October 2007, and runs a total of 22 short line railroads on more than 3,500 miles of track in the United States. Capital Metro’s freight service will continue seamlessly.

Earlier today, Capital Metro terminated its rail operations and maintenance contract with Veolia Transportation.

Capital Metro took these decisive and responsible steps because they are in the best interest of the Authority, the opening of the MetroRail system and the community.

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