Keep up with essential planning news and commentary, delivered to your inbox every Monday and Thursday.
Texas High Speed Rail Proposal Gaining Momentum
According to Crawford's coverage, the Texas Central Railway "plans to link Dallas and Houston with a 200-mile-per-hour bullet train as soon as 2021." Moreover, says Crawford, "[the] venture just might be high-speed rail's best hope in the United States."
"The project has been progressing below the radar, very quietly, very deliberately, over the last four years plus," says Richard Lawless, CEO of TCR. Back in March, for instance, the mayors of Dallas, Fort Worth, and Houston announced their support of the proposal.
Here's how Crawford describes the planning work that has already taken place: "It's now undergoing an environmental impact study that will take between two and three years, but Texas Central, whose backers include Japan's JR Central railway, has already conducted its own extensive research. The company, originally called U.S.-Japan High-Speed Rail, looked at 97 possible routes nationwide before concluding that Texas was the ideal place for a high-speed line — and that healthy profits could be made in long-distance passenger rail, a travel mode that for the past 40 years has existed only with the help of massive government subsidies.
Compare the plans in Texas to another private rail company's plans to connect Miami and Orlando in Florida, which also attracted media attention this week.