STB Decides in Favor of RLBA’s Client in Construction and Operations Exemption

Texas Railway Exchange LLC, (TREX) engaged RLBA as part of its effort to establish direct rail access between a bulk import/export terminal of Texas International Terminals, Inc. (TIT) and BNSF Railway, providing an alternative to the inferior reciprocal switch service provided by Union Pacific Railroad (UP). 

In support of TREX’s U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB) filings to construct a track crossing UP at-grade, RLBA provided an Expert Report which included: 1) a detailed switching study of TIT’s traffic which produced train cycle time and car elapsed time metrics and 2) a track occupancy study of the prospective diamond crossing area.  Also, RLBA’s professional engineer designed four, potential track alignments and testified in a Verified Statement as to their feasibility and ability to be constructed without adversely impacting UP’s and BNSF’s on-going operations. 

The Expert Report documented the poor level of service experienced by TIT traffic subject to UP reciprocal switching and demonstrated significant service improvement which would result from construction of the TREX-proposed track.  It also demonstrated that there would be sufficient capacity at the prospective diamond crossing to accommodate existing and future traffic levels without adversely impacting UP’s operation.

In its June 2019 filing with the STB, UP consented to STB’s issuance of the crossing order requested by TREX and indicated it was prepared to negotiate the terms of operation across the crossing and the amount of payment.

In January 2020, the STB ruled in favor of TREX’s petition to allow for construction and operation of the line.