TEXAS – AUSTIN, Texas — In a recent interview with the San Antonio Express-News, Texas Gov.
Greg Abbott said that his state was not only among the top harbors for freight but also was one of the fastest growing.
In 2017, Texas posted a total of 3,976,000 miles of rail-based freight, more than any other state, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
That means the state had the fastest growth in rail freight in any state in 2017.
“I think it’s clear that this is an important issue,” Abbott said.
“Texas is one of a handful of states that is having a hard time attracting people to get on the rail.
We have had a lot of people come to our state, and the reason why is because we have a high level of freight demand.”
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, the state’s rail-to-trash ratio is at an all-time high of about 2.4.
In 2016, it was just over 1.5.
With the rail industry already facing severe labor issues, Abbott said the need for more rail-bound freight was evident, even as he expressed concern about how rail freight could impact a state that has the highest share of its residents living within 1,500 feet of a railroad track.
“We’re really trying to attract more freight to our region,” he said.
“[But] we are also working with freight and freight customers to address that.
And I think the challenge is to be proactive in that regard.”