The Central Texas area has a vital purpose in the state’s railroad operation. The central proximity allows for north/south and east/west rail corridors. The KTMPO boundaries are served by two “Class 1” railroad companies located in Temple. Burlington Northern and Santa Fe (BNSF) and Union Pacific (UP) are the predominant railroad freight carriers for the area. The City of Temple was founded in 1881 by the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway Company in order to provide services for railroad equipment and passengers at a major junction point.
The Temple rail yard performs rail car switching, locomotive fueling and is a strategic point for crew changes. Currently, there is a short-line railroad operation that is providing switching services to specific industries. There are approximately 10 miles of specific industry rail service in the Temple Central Pointe business park.
The U.S. Army maintains its own railhead where vehicles, equipment and containers can be loaded and unloaded to support military missions worldwide as well as sustain ongoing operations at Fort Hood.
Amtrak serves the Central Texas area with a station in downtown Temple. The “Texas Eagle” travels daily between Chicago and San Antonio, allowing rail travelers to connect with other train routes and travel throughout the nation.
There is currently no high-speed rail in our region, although the idea is being explored by TxDOT and private enterprises. It is not known at this time where a future high-speed rail line may be located within Texas, but it will focus on serving the area known as the Texas Triangle, the densely-populated region anchored by San Antonio, Austin, Houston, and Dallas-Fort Worth.