Texas County Pledges New Railroad to Lure Toyota

November 21, 2002
Posted at: 10:00 p.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- The competition between Texas and Arkansas for a new Toyota plant is heating up.

The importance of having competition for rail transportation serving the plant has sunk in with some San Antonio-area officials. Bexar County commissioners are trying to create a new railroad line to help San Antonio land the Toyota plant that Arkansas is also competing for.

Texas officials said Thursday that they have a pledge for federal funding for the line. Toyota has said two rail carriers will be a major criterion in its decision on where to locate. The company likes to use competition to lower its shipping costs.

Arkansas officials say a site in this state under consideration by Toyota, near Marion in Crittenden County, already has more than one railroad line that could serve a new plant.

Texas Congressman Henry Bonilla, who represents the San Antonio area, is a member of the House Appropriations Committee. He said he had been assured that federal assistance would be made available to a new rail district when Congress resumes in January. That's according to the San Antonio Express-News.