Kyle considers study to end railroad woes

The Kyle city council approved spending $270,000 on a preliminary engineering study to remove a railroad switch station, or rail siding, from the downtown sector.

The scope of the study is to provide the city with an understanding of how much work will be required to move the siding from downtown Kyle. 

A railroad siding is a side rail that allows one train to stop while letting another train go by. 

Whenever this operation happens, however, trains block traffic on Center Street for anywhere from a few minutes to as much as an hour. 

The council’s decision came after they opted to table the item following the Nov. 8 Hays County bond election. 

Hays County earmarked up to $1.5 million of the $131 million road bond package, Proposition 2, to help the city with the cost of moving the siding. 

The city has the opportunity to possibly partner with other government entities from the county, state and federal government. 

According to city officials, governmental entities have pledged to look at the feasibility of the city’s proposal for moving the siding. A big component of the move will be the cost for the scope of work.

The cost of moving the siding is estimated at $17 million. 

The preliminary engineering study is the first step in moving the project forward. Kyle Mayor Todd Webster said that moving the siding had merit regardless of participation by other government entities. 

Webster said the synergistic support from other government entities should not be ignored nor overvalued. 

But Webster felt that the city should move forward with the study since it would be beneficial for future city councils to have a grasp of what it will take to move the siding from downtown Kyle.

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