Rep. Cuellar to Host International Meeting with Federal Railroad Administration on Rail Service between U.S. and Mexico
Meeting result of language Congressman Cuellar secured in Appropriations bill
Congressman Henry Cuellar, (D-TX-28), will host a two-day international meeting with the Federal Railroad Administration, state and federal agencies and their Mexican counterparts to discuss standards and protocols for rail service from the United States to Mexico. The meetings, brought together as a result of appropriations language passed by Congressman Cuellar, will take place from Monday, January 23 to Tuesday, January 24 at Texas A&M International University.
Groups from both the United States and Mexico are studying the harmonization of rail speed, safety and infrastructure regulation and rail standards in both countries. The study would help support projects like the proposed higher-speed rail project from San Antonio to Monterrey via Laredo. The proposed route for the high-speed passenger rail would begin in San Antonio at the VIA Transit Center Station, stop northwest of Laredo at a new railway bridge near the Laredo Colombia Solidarity Bridge (LCSB), and continue on a new rail line approved for construction in the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon with final destination to Monterrey, Mexico.
“This proposed route for passenger rail between San Antonio, Laredo and Monterrey would increase tourism and boost development and growth in our area while strengthening our cities’ centuries-old relationships,” said Congressman Cuellar. “I thank the City of Laredo, Webb County, the City of Monterrey and representatives from the state and federal governments in both countries for their dedication and support to this exciting project that will benefit our communities.”
This route proposal was added as a result of stakeholder meetings in Laredo, at which attendees expressed a desire for direct service from San Antonio to Monterrey, Mexico, with a new stop northwest of Laredo at LCSB. A feasibility study was conducted by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to examine the U.S. component of this new line while considering the ridership impact of such a connection.
Congressman Cuellar was successful in adding language in the Fiscal Year 2016 Omnibus House Appropriations bill for a feasibility study for a passenger rail between San Antonio and Monterrey through Laredo:
“Passenger Rail between Mexico & United States.--The Committee understands that standards or protocols for passenger rail between the United States and Mexico do not currently exist. The Committee encourages FRA to work with all relevant state and federal agencies and their Mexican counterparts to study what standards and protocols are needed to facilitate a passenger and freight rail line between the U.S. and Mexico, in Texas, and other international land crossings.”
List of Attendees
FEDERAL: Federal Rail Administration
STATE: Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT)
MUNICIPAL: City of Laredo and Webb County
FEDERAL: Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes (Mexico's Communications and Transportation Ministry)
STATE: Corporación Para El Desarrollo De La Zona Fronteriza De Nuevo León (CODEFRONT) [the Corporation for the Development of the Border Area of Nuevo León (CODEFRONT)]
STATE: Agencia para la Racionalización y Modernización del Sistema de Transporte Público de Nuevo León (Nuevo Leon Public Transportation Agency)MUNICIPAL: Secretaría Desarrollo Económico del Municipio de Monterrey (Economic Development Ministry of the City of Monterrey)