Short line railroads employ nearly 20,000 people and create and support countless more American jobs for industries that use the rails. They serve more than 13,000 facilities and haul over 14 million carloads per year.
Did you know?
- One rail freight car can carry the equivalent of four 18-wheel truck loads.
- Railroads consume almost a third less fuel than trucks per ton mile moved.
- One rail car can carry a ton of cargo 436 miles on a single gallon of fuel.
The life-blood of many communities, short line railroads are providing economic opportunities and restoring connections to thousands of local communities and small businesses. For small businesses, the ability to use short line railroads means lower costs, more flexible local service and a greatly expanded market reach for local products. Short lines provide businesses and local farmers with access to world markets by connecting them to the national rail network.
The Medina Line
Determining that the project was in the public interest, in 2008, the U.S. Surface Transportation Board granted Southwest Gulf Railroad Company (SGRR) the authority to build and operate The Medina Line, a 9-mile common carrier railroad near Dunlay, Texas. The subsequent economic recession slowed development of the line. We are committed to Medina County and look forward to working with the community to generate new jobs, new tax revenues and spur economic growth for the County and its residents while providing local businesses with a low-cost and convenient connection to the regional, national and global marketplace.
The U.S. Surface Transportation Board approved three possible routes for The Medina Line in 2008. We are committed to the Modified Eastern Bypass Route, determined by our engineers and environmental experts to be the optimal route.
The U.S. Surface Transportation Board determined that the project was in the public interest and gave SGRR approval to build and operate The Medina Line in 2008 after a lengthy and thorough approval process.
Southwest Gulf Railroad Company.
Operations, Safety & the Environment
As a common carrier, The Medina Line is available to serve businesses, customers and shippers located on or near the line. A safe and efficient transportation link, the line’s initial, anchor customer will be Vulcan Materials’ Medina Quarry, an existing limestone quarry at the northern end of the line operated by SGRR’s parent company, Vulcan Materials Company. SGRR and Union Pacific Railroad are working together to actively market The Medina Line and development opportunities to customers.
Unit trains will take approximately 3 to 4 minutes to cross intersections at CR4516 and FM2676.
- Trains on The Medina Line are expected to travel at an average speed of 20-25 mph.
- SGRR will consult with TxDOT, Medina County, FEMA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers among others to ensure all road and flood plain crossings will be designed, constructed and maintained to comply with public safety requirements.
- SGRR will maintain an approved Emergency Response Plan in case of weather or operational emergencies and will coordinate fully with County, State and Federal emergency agencies and first responders as necessary to ensure public safety in the event of an emergency.
- SGRR will exceed TxDOT standards by installing electric warning signals and gates at all roadway crossings except CR 4512, which will follow TxDOT standards. Crossings will be located at: CR 454 (East), CR 454 (West), CR 4516, CR 4512, FM 2676, CR 353 (South) and CR 353 (North).
- No roadways will be closed until early 2018. Each crossing will require temporary closure. SGRR will communicate road closures in advance to neighbors and stakeholders, and closings will be publicly posted via road signs 14 days in advance. Detours will be communicated and posted. SGRR will coordinate with Medina County and local police, fire and emergency medical services. SGRR will exceed TxDOT standards by installing electric warning signals and gates at six roadway crossings.
- SGRR will maintain a 24/7 emergency phone number.
- A key requirement of authorization by the U.S. Surface Transportation Board was a rigorous and thorough environmental review which included public comment and public meetings.
- The STB found the Modified Eastern Bypass Route (MEB) to be an environmentally preferred route and determined that the MEB will not significantly affect either the quality of the human environment or the conservation of energy resources.
- Design, construction and operation of The Medina Line will include 91 mitigation measures from the U.S. Surface Transportation Board’s Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) which addresses factors such as biological and cultural resources, water, noise and air quality, and safety.
- SGRR will maintain a plan to prevent erosion and sediment runoff from impacted areas for the duration of construction activities. We’ll maintain full compliance with the mitigation measures including best management practices (BMPs) during construction to minimize impacts of sediment runoff, and planning for flood conditions.
- SGRR will have a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) and implement the measures into the plan during construction.
- SGRR will maintain a dust control plan, including the use of water trucks. SGRR will also implement BMPs to minimize the impact of air pollutants.
The average daily workforce starting in Phase 3 will have approximately 70-80 workers spread out along various parts of the nine-mile route.