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The Houston Area Rail Transformation (THE HART)

The Houston Area Rail Transformation (THE HART) began as a working group of stakeholders joining together to produce a collaborative and programmatic approach to leverage public and private funding opportunities for railroad projects in the region. The basis for this approach stems from the 2021 Houston-Beaumont Region Freight Study issued by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), which provided the initial working lists of projects for consideration.


THE HART working group began meeting in September of 2022 and was established as a committee of the Gulf Coast Rail District Board on January 17, 2023 by Board action.


Members of THE HART include representatives from:

  • Union Pacific Railroad

  • Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway

  • Houston Belt & Terminal Railway Company

  • Port Terminal Railroad Association

  • Gulf Coast Rail District (representing City of Houston, Port Houston and the counties of Harris, Fort Bend, Waller, Montgomery and Galveston)

  • Chambers County

  • Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO)

  • Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC)

  • Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT)

  • Canadian Pacific Kansas City Railway

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This coalition of partners is working together to increase the efficiency of Houston’s unique rail network through THE HART programmatic approach.

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