Texas to begin work on Dallas-Houston bullet train next year

Privately funded rail firm Texas Central is planning to build a high-speed rail line between Dallas and Houston in Texas.

The Texas Central Railway was listed in the Trump administration’s priority projects, released in January. This listed a $12bn a 386km line that would reduce travel time between the state’s first and third largest cities from four and a half hours at present to 90 minutes.

Texas Central says there are nearly 50,000 Texan "super-commuters" who travel back and forth between Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth more than once a week. They will be to take a service that departs every 30 minutes during peak periods and every hour during off-peak periods.

A Japanese Shinkansen bullet train, a high-speed train with tilting capability, will be used on the line. The one chosen is Japan Railways Group’s Series N700 which currently runs between Tokyo and Osaka and has a top speed of 330km/h.

The Tokyo and Osaka route uses a 16-car train; Texas Central will use an eight-car train with seating capacity for 400 passengers.

The 10 to 20 acre Dallas high-speed train station will be built on undeveloped land in the Cedars district in the south of the city with local firm Matthews Southwest acting as developer. It is unclear exactly where the Brazos Valley and Houston stations will be located.

Texas Central say that the project will create more than 10,000 jobs during each year of construction and more than 1,000 permanent jobs once operational.

Texas Central say is has analysed "potential routes that follow alongside existing rights of way as much as possible" and "closely examined a number of such rights of way, including interstates, freight rail corridors and power and utility corridors, all with the goal of minimising impacts on private property".

The firms say it plans to begin construction in 2018.

Images courtesy of Texas Central

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  1. Texas Central is sure good at marketing. They cannot start building until they have acquired the land which they have not. They have not completed the environmental review. In recent court statements, they have raised under 2% of the money needed to build this disaster. They also have not been granted eminent domain as they are not a railroad because they don’t own a train or tracks. The state of Texas does not need to follow in California’s steps and invest in a huge money pit which will only stand to make Japan and its investors rich off of all of the federally backed loans. No foreign based private company should be allowed to steal land through eminent domain. So far they have been successful in forcing some land owners to sell by threatening to use eminent domain if they don’t sell. This is robbery plain and simple.

  2. You are correct. I own property in Ellis County, and I have not sold it to TCR. So, unless they have plans to put wings on that train there’s’ no way to get through my property. So much for beginning CONSTRUCTION when they have not acquired any land.

  3. There will be many rail naysayers, criticizing mongers, and NIMBYs who will fight a needed development. These must be expected and avoided. They probably claim not to believe in pollution or global warming. Very simply, the people of Asia and Europe have high-speed rail, which is constantly expanding, and is comfortable, convenient, efficient, effective, safe and non-polluting. We eventually must have the same in the USA, and NOW is the time to start. When a few lines are up and running, the remainder of the nation will demand to be included in the system. The only trouble I have with the current plans is they don’t connect with AMTRAK. We need to have “central stations” in the “center” of a city, where ALL trains pass through for easy connections. Unless they can arrange this, then I too would oppose a stand-alone inconvenient system.

  4. Donovan M hit the nail on the head with his comments…TCR is not a railroad, therefore they will not have eminent domain to do their “land grab” and that means NO TRAIN. The law is clear and TCR is not a railroad as they do not own a train or a track. TCR is using smoke and mirrors to get everyone to believe they can start construction in 2018. They have no environmental study completed as of June 2017 and their ridership study is BOGUS.

  5. Senate Bill 979 has removed the provisions that “originally would have prevented any privately operated high-speed rail company from using eminent domain” and as such Texas Central has powers to use eminent domain. Case closed.

    While this may negatively impact some property owners due to relocation etc,their sacrifice is for the greater good of the State of Texas.

    Have you ever pause to think about the several interstate and other roads that you drive on daily,it use to be someone property.Such property owners sacrificed their convinced for the good of all.It wasn’t an easy decision but I let them have my property for a greater good.

  6. I don’t get it. So this project is privately funded, but the government considers it a priority?? It’s a priority for Trump only because he wants to show off how he can get private money to pay for projects of “national importance”. The reality is that Trump (like all the GOP) says that he wants smaller government, and to divest responsibility to the states, but then try to get projects like this done. Like the rail line in California, this project would never be supported by the GOP, and will likely either die from lack of funding, or just never get built.

  7. This is one of the top links from Wikipedia and Google with regards to the Texas Central Rail Line and it has been 9 months since the last comment. Are the HSR supporters moving forward or is it losing momentum? The last I heard was that they were going to start construction late this year but I haven’t heard anything since. The court decision allowing them to use eminent domain seemed huge at the time but there hasn’t been any news since. Curious.

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