Upgrade to Local Railway System

Monday morning, private work crews will begin the rehabilitation of our city's railway system.

The crossings at Harris Avenue and Browning Street may cause traffic delays for a couple of days.

A larger project, funded by the State Legislature, will replace several miles of worn out rails in the city.

A Texas-based company, Trac-Work, is taking on this $2.5 million (M) project to relay 13 miles of rail in San Angelo. These rails are some of the oldest remaining on the South Orient Rail Line, dating back to 1910.

Over 30,000 rail cars travel on San Angelo railways, each year.

"If you go back three years we were moving only about 4,000 cars a year, so our growth has been tremendous most of which is connected to the oil industry in West Texas and the activity in the Permian," Texas Pacifico Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Elizabeth Grindstaff, said.

Grindstaff says, about 85% of what is transported through our railways is frack sand; rehabilitating the rails is a constant process.

Thirteen miles of rail in the San Angelo city limits, that may date  back to over a century ago, will be relayed with 115 pound rail.

Grindstaff says, a car that x-rays the rails and foresees fractures, detected a problem resulting in a $2.5 million (M) project, budgeted by the State Legislature.

"The work that we're doing right now is a result of what we call the 'Sperry Car' that ran here in the last month at those intersections, again probably because the number of railroad cars," Grindstaff said.

Grindstaff says, a number of railroad crossing have been replaced within the past year; this project should not impact traffic.

The Texas-based company, Trac-Work, expects the project to be completed within two months.

"That's going to be the removal and relaying of rail of a higher grade, a higher weight of rail that can take higher volumes and heavier cars. It could last another 50 years if not longer," Grindstaff said.

Workers are expected to begin construction, Monday morning. Traffic will be narrowed down to one lane at the crossing of Harris Avenue and Browning Street, that project should be completed by Thursday.

The larger project is expected to take about two months to complete.

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