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The Source: Officials Target Lone Star Rail District For Defunding

Lone Star Rail District
The now defunct route planned by Lone Star Rail District

In February Union Pacific railroad informed the Lone Star Rail District that it would not hand over a critical line of track that ran parallel to I-35.

The dream was to use the track to operate a daily commuter rail service connecting San Antonio and Austin.

Speaking on The Source on Monday County Commissioner Kevin Wolff said he’s lost confidence in the Lone Star Rail District and it’s time to defund the operation.

“We will essentially abolish the operational arm until such time there is a solid legitimate plan and a way to pay for the building – the capital costs – of actually building a rail line there’s no sense in us having to spend good money after bad.”

The Lone Star Rail District was established in 2003 by the Texas Legislature and has spent over 28 million dollars in the endeavor with little to show for it. District 9 City Councilmember Joe Krier said there is still the need for a regional commuter rail but not with the Lone Star Rail District.

“What we oughta do is to get the two MPO’s to sit down with each other rather than complaining about who is spending who’s money for what – and figure out a joint policy between our MPO and Austin MPO to move this project forward. We have got to have this. We can’t get people to work, school and church 20 years from now if we don’t.”

The Lone Star Rail District has released possible alternative routes including one vision to build and operate an elevated rail line along I-35. Another concept is to build a line along the SH130 corridor. Regardless an 8 million dollar environmental study for the defunct Union Pacific line is continuing.


  • Kevin Wolff, MPO Board member and Commissioner
  • Joe Krier, council member for San Antonio's 9th district
David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi