Austin’s Capital Metro Freight Operations and Maintenance Support

At a Glance

  • Client(s)
  • Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Capital Metro)
  • Project Location(s)
  • Austin
LTK-designed railcarCapital Metro’s freight network is one of the nation’s busiest public-owned freight corridors, handling about 40,000 carloads per year. 

The operating agreement with the freight carrier required Capital Metro to maintain all track and crossings in freight-only territory, resulting in significant claims by the freight carrier for derailments.

LTK was retained to review the entire 160-mile freight network, a portion of which is shared with the passenger rail system, and to develop a future business model for freight-related operations and maintenance of the corridor. Based on that review, LTK developed a business plan that recommend a restructuring of responsibilities and shifted the risk of performance to the freight contractor.

From the business plan, LTK developed technical specifications for all aspects of the operations and maintenance of the freight portion of Capital Metro’s rail network. LTK assisted during the procurement by responding to technical questions and evaluating proposals.

Capital Metro received three proposals for the new freight contract. The successful procurement resulted in an increase in revenue to Capital Metro as annual carloads rose to more than 60,000. At the same time, claims due to track conditions in freight-only territory have been eliminated and long-term capital investment in the freight rail network has increased.