2-27-04 - The fight to save a north Texas rail line may be over. This week Texas Department of Transportation agreed to purchase the old Union Pacific rail line in Fannin County. It’s good news for farmers and ranchers because it could breathe new life into the area.
Tex-dot's deciding factor in buying the tracks is that it will get thousands of shipping trucks off the road, and get freight back on the 33.5 miles of track. That’s something that hasn’t happened for more than four years. It will save folks in Fannin County almost a million dollars a year in freight charges.
But the railroad also means the chance for a tourism train and the possibly of attracting more industries to the county. Fannin County leaders have been fighting to have the track restored for years. But before trains can run, the Fannin County rail district must renovate the tracks. That project that will cost anywhere from $700,000 to $2.5 million.
It will take about 90 days for the $600,000 purchase to be final. Trains should be running by this time next year.