The fate of freight

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. Continue reading “The fate of freight”

The other pretty red trains

While MetroRail seems to get all the attention, Capital Metro’s freight rail operation is in line for some national recognition. The partnership between our freight line, known as the Austin Western Railroad, and freight customer Capitol Aggregates is a nominee for Argus Rail Business’ 13th annual Win-Win Award. More on the award in a moment.

First, here’s how our freight system works. When the MetroRail trains are tucked safely away at our rail maintenance facility, our freight contractor operates along the 162-mile line between Giddings and Llano. Continue reading “The other pretty red trains”