The city of San Angelo in deep Southwest Texas is moving ahead on a $600,000 deal to create a rail port in that city. The city council action this week is called a game changer for the community by one city official.
The rail port would sit alongside the Texas Pacifico South Orient rail line with boundaries of East 50th street and Farm to Market Road 2105. According to the San Angelo Standard Times Wisener Holdings, doing business as South Plains Lamesa Railroad, will purchase a 183-acre tract from the city, and invest roughly $1 million to develop the rail industrial park.
"This is an exciting day," said Guy Andrews — a director for the City of San Angelo Development Corporation, commonly referred to as COSA-DC. "We view this as a game-changer for San Angelo. We've been working on this project for nearly two years."
South Plains Lamesa will get the first six years on an interest free loan. Land payments would be forgiven if the company fulfills its obligation to develop the facility.
This comes at an opportunistic time for the city as the South Orient line is expected to reopen an international rail bridge at Presidio, Texas that was destroyed by fire. With the Mexico-Texas connection restored, rail traffic should increase throughout Southwest Texas. Work is expected to begin in the next six months with the rail port expected to be open by the end of December 2021. Andrews was quoted by the San Angelo newspaper as saying "it could be a huge deal with the North American Free Trade Agreement. San Angelo is the largest city on that rail line, and so we're well positioned to accept that type of freight to ship goods and services to Mexico." South Plains Lamesa Railroad has operated a rail park in Slaton, Texas since 1993. That location serves as a transload center for shipments in West Texas and eastern New Mexico.
The real estate deal is scheduled to close later this month.