Federal Legislative Agenda 2017
Railway Operational Improvements
The City of Laredo has worked to establish relationships and dialogue with the Union Pacific Railroad and the Kansas City Southern Railroad both of which have operated in Laredo and have used the city as a crossing point between the U.S. and Mexico for over a century. In these discussions, several solutions have been proposed and federal guidance, cooperation and action is needed to support these measures to reduce train delays at the international rail bridge which cause the trains to block most at grade crossings in the City’s downtown for extended periods of time creating emergency vehicle and mobility issues.
Use of International Crews
Train delays often occur at the international rail bridge as Mexican and U.S. operators must switch before crossing the international boundary. International crews can solve the problem by hauling trains across the bridge. By doing so, regular crews on both sides of the border will be able to take drags back to their respective rail yards. These crews would only be allowed to travel within an established rail trade zone, which would include rail yards on both sides of the bridge and all rail lines between them.
Engineers from both countries would be licensed by their respective company to work within the rail trade zone. Furthermore, international crew members would be required to be bilingual to communicate by radio with yardmasters, dispatchers, etc. This would also allow for paperwork, such as track warrants and train lists, to be distributed in either language.
Air Brake Testing
Another source of congestion occurs as trains block crossings for long periods of time while air brakes are tested. In order to reduce the blockage of railroad crossings, it is proposed that the air brakes on rail cars be tested before they cross into the U. S. Tests will be conducted to meet the standards established by the Federal Railroad Administration.
The City of Laredo supports a binational effort to implement these operational changes.
Federal Railroad Administration
Homeland Security - Customs and Border Protection
Planning and Zoning Director
1120 San Bernardo Avenue
P.O. Box 579
Laredo, Texas 78042
Phone: (956) 794-1613
Fax: (956) 794-1624