HIGH-SPEED RAIL: High-speed rail moving closer to reality in Texas

State efforts focused on Dallas-Fort Worth area, possible Oklahoma City-South Texas connector

January 28, 2014

Two separate events scheduled for this week seem to point to high-speed rail coming to Texas sometime in the future: The Texas Transportation Commission (TTC) is expected to vote Thursday on the creation of a high-speed rail commission for the Dallas-Fort Worth area while the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) also begins public meetings about a feasibility study for a high-speed train between South Texas and Oklahoma City.

According to TTC, the Dallas-Fort Worth commission, if established, would act as an advisory board to state and regional officials. High-speed rail supporters are pushing for trains to connect the two cities plus Arlington, Texas. Ideally, that line would join up with a private high-speed line in development from Dallas to Houston. That project is being developed by a Japanese-backed firm using no public funding.

On a second front, TxDOT is beginning a series of public meetings to discuss the results of the Texas-Oklahoma Passenger Rail Study. The department initiated the study in 2013 to examine potential impacts of a high-speed rail line linking the two states. In January, TxDOT announced it was expanding the study to look at a possible connection between San Antonio and Monterrey, Mexico.

Both initiatives are merely indicators of interest, as there is currently no funding for any high-speed rail projects in Texas.