The Gulf Coast Rail District received a $2 million grant under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for preliminary engineering studies to determine the feasibility of commuter rail in the Houston region. Analyses were based on recommendations from the 2008 H-GAC Regional Commuter Rail Connectivity Study.
Hempstead Commuter Rail
The Gulf Coast Rail District has undertaken the Conceptual Engineering Study for Hempstead Corridor Commuter Rail to determine the feasibility of operating commuter trains along the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) Eureka Subdivision. The 44 mile corridor runs parallel to US 290 through northwest Harris County to the City of Hempstead in Waller County.
Commuter rail in the Hempstead corridor has been contemplated for several years. According to the 2008 H-GAC Regional Commuter Rail Connectivity Study, the high level of commuter demand and low level of freight rail operations in the corridor make it a prime candidate for commuter rail operations.
The GCRD study, funded under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 (ARRA), will provide data regarding potential ridership, station locations, connectivity to local transit and essential capital improvements. With the addition of data from UPRR regarding potential impacts on existing freight rail operations that may require mitigation and costs associated with use of the track, the Gulf Coast Rail District will have defined the requirements for commuter rail in the Hempstead corridor.
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