Northeast Texas Rural Rail
Transportation District (NETEX)

Serving Titus, Franklin, Hopkins, Delta, Hunt, and Collin Counties.


NETEX Railroad in Commerce, Jason Davis photo.

About

A Rural Rail Transportation District (RRTD) is…

The Northeast Texas Rural Rail Transportation District (NETEX)…

NETEC MAp

NETEX has…

The Formation of NETEX...

In 1981, Texas approved Article 6550c, the initial legislation calling for the creation of rural rail districts throughout the state. The provisions of Art. 6550c were later incorporated into the Texas Transportation Code as Chapter 172.  By March of 1999, 11 rural rail districts, consisting of over 50 Texas counties had been developed. Rail districts can be formed in Texas by any one or more contiguous counties.

Following the application for abandonment of the Dallas Division of the Southern Pacific's subsidiary St. Louis Southwestern, known as the Cotton Belt, the four counties of Hunt, Hopkins, Franklin and Titus formed the Northeast Texas Rural Rail Transportation District, NETEX.

On November 9, 1995, five years after the closure of the branch, and before Union Pacific's takeover of SP, the rail district took ownership of 31 miles of track from MP 555 just west of Greenville to MP 524 just west of Sulphur Springs, for a purchase price of $2,000,000 and an immediate investment of $225,000 for track remediation and repair. SP had reserved ownership from MP 524 to Mount Pleasant for two reasons. First there was a strong possibility that a large carload shipper would move into Sulphur Springs, and second there was the utility track between SP and KCS east of Winfield, just west of Mount Pleasant in Titus County.

On October 1, 2000, almost five years after the first purchase, NETEX bought the Union Pacific track from Milepost 524 to 489.4, at the Franklin County/Titus County line. The purchase price was $1.3 Million.  NETEX was granted trackage rights on the 7.9 miles of UP retained track in Titus County from the Franklin/Titus County line to the UP freight yard in Mt. Pleasant to facilitate the interchange of rail traffic at the eastern end of the railroad.

NETEX also purchased the abandoned segment of right of way between MP 555 at Simtrott and MP 575.4 near Wylie to preserve the corridor for the future restoration of freight rail service and to enable a western connection to the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) System for possible passenger service.

Since its formation, the counties of Collin and Delta have joined the membership of the district which now represents six member counties and is governed by a 12 member board of directors comprised of two county court appointed representatives from each member county.

Rail service resumed on the former C-branch in 1996 with East Texas Central Railroad, Inc., as the initial contracted operator for NETEX.  Blacklands Railroad became NETEX's contracted operator February 9, 1999 and provided rail service until June 30, 2020.  On July 1, 2020, North East Texas Connector, LLC (NETC) assumed responsibilities for providing rail service as the contracted operator for the NETEX railroad.

rev. Sept. 1, 2020