Texas state reps ask U.S. DOT to terminate high-speed rail project

Developer cites coronavirus outbreak for project's financial setbacks

April 08, 2020
high-speed rail projects

Dozens of state lawmakers this week signed a letter urging the U.S. DOT to terminate all further actions associated with the 240-mile route high-speed rail project led by Texas Central Partners that would connect Dallas and Houston.

"It has become clear Texas Central Railroad (TCRR) simply does not have the financial resources required or expertise employed to continue with this project," the letter states. "To proceed otherwise would be an inexcusable waste of taxpayer dollars and jeopardizes the integrity of the rules making process at the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)."

The letter mentions that over the weekend, TCRR's CEO Carlos Aguilar acknowledged the lack of financial stability of the organization after laying off 28 employees, citing the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak for its reasoning. Aguilar indicated that the project would face delays due to pandemic-related setbacks for its partners around the world.

The letter notes that the cost to construct the proposed high-speed rail line is estimated to be over $20 billion, and says TCRR "clearly" does not and will not have the funding to conduct the planning or construction phases of the project in the foreseeable future.

The high-speed rail system currently in the planning phase would have provided train rides with speeds up to 205 mph, with an approximately 90-minute trip time between Houston and Dallas.

Prior to the pandemic, the anticipated completion date for the project was 2026. 

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