Eagle Ford rail bringing road relief, jobs

Developer aims to ease truck traffic


THREE RIVERS, Texas – The Eagle Ford shale oil play is wreaking havoc with the roads across South Texas, but relief is on the way in the form of rail.

The Live Oak Railroad Park, covering 250 acres, is under construction just south of Three Rivers.

When it is complete, there will be 28,000 feet of track ready to receive long-haul Eagle Ford products and send out oil and gas.

"One of the benefits is to get some of that truck traffic off the road," said Martin Simpson, the railroad's developer. "The second is we're providing jobs."

Simpson came up with the development idea when he was stuck in traffic at the one major intersection in Three Rivers.

"It is economically viable to do this development right now," Simpson said. "It's green, it saves a ton of fuel (and the) cost to ship (via) rail (is cheaper)."

That is not the only rail park underway.

The Mission Rail Park is being developed in Southeast Bexar County. There will be a thousand acres of rail-fed land.

At first, the Eagle Ford shale play will have a big impact, but rail availability will hopefully draw more manufacturing companies to South Texas.

"There are some industries that absolutely have to have the rail to their site and heavy manufacturing (or) vehicle manufacturing -- that type of thing -- generally needs to have direct access to the rail coming to their property," said David Marquez, executive director of Bexar County Economic Development.

The addition of rail to bring in manufacturing should also ship in more good jobs.

"We would like to see other high-value added quality jobs coming to this area that need rail service (and) today, we have it," Marques said.

For a list of recent stories David Sears has done, click here.

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