Texas high-speed rail project could begin later this year

Texas Central Partners may soon begin work on the bullet train to connect Houston to Dallas

February 25, 2019
high-speed rail Texas

Construction may begin on the high-speed rail project from Dallas to Houston as soon as late 2019 or early 2020, according to a report from the Houston Chronicle.

Developer Texas Central Partners is the company behind the proposed bullet train that would transport passengers between two of the largest metropolitan areas in the state in less than 90 minutes.

Recently, the project has come under fire as a judge in Leon County ruled that Texas Central does not have the authority as a railroad to force landowners to sell or provide land for the rail line. However, the company still plans to move forward with the 240-mile project that could take up to five years to complete at cost of $12 billion. Texas Central also will appeal the recent court decision.

The bullet train would be modeled after Japan’s Shinkansen high-speed train system because of its safety and efficiency track record. Texas Central has said that the train's two-track system will not share tracks with freight lines. Trains would travel at 200 miles per hour on the high-speed line between 10 counties with trains departing every 30 minutes.

News of the possible late 2019 start for the Texas high-speed rail project comes not long after California's bullet train endeavors have been scaled back due to funding challenges. Gov. Newsom recently announced the California project could only move forward with a plan to connect the communities of Merced and Bakersfield, while the initially planned link from San Francisco to L.A. was no longer feasible. Additionally, the Federal Railroad Administration last week announced its intentions to cancel the federal funding provided to the California high-speed rail project.

Carlos Aguilar, Texas Central's CEO and president, noted in a recent blog post on the company's website that there are significant differences between the Texas and California high-speed rail projects. The expected cost range for the San Francisco to L.A. rail line was between $77 billion and $98 billion. The potential $20 billion cost for tunnels along that route alone far exceed the total $12 billion anticipated price tag for the Houston-Dallas route.

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Source: Houston Chronicle 

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