WEST COLUMBIA — The Brazoria-Fort Bend Rail District will work with the relevant agencies to “slow down, stop and pause the effort that we’ve been working on for a railroad,” Director Earl Shipp said Friday morning.

The potential short-line railroad from Freeport to Kendleton in Fort Bend County is not going to be a “bankable solution” to transport the significant amount of cargo and freight going in and out of Port Freeport, Shipp said.

The decision follows a Thursday meeting between the district’s engineering committee, HDR Engineering and the three sponsoring agencies, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County and Port Freeport, Shipp said.

The district’s focus will shift to memorializing the effort to remember what they have learned, he said. The district might disband altogether, but that has yet to be decided, he said.

Fort Bend County officials initiated the effort after a study in 2014, Port Freeport CEO Phyllis Saathoff said, adding they were invited to sponsor and appoint directors to the board.

Growth will continue in the region as officials want to see it develop, grow, create jobs and economic opportunity, but those at the port “certainly respect the verdict,” Saathoff said.

Maddy McCarty is a reporter for The Facts. Contact her at 979-237-0151.

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