Texas Central and Amtrak Evaluate Texas High-Speed Rail Project

Texas Central Partners and Amtrak have announced that they are exploring opportunities to advance planning and analysis work for the proposed Dallas-Houston 205mph high-speed rail project.

The approximately 240-mile route would provide a travel time of less than 90 minutes between the two major metropolitan areas. It would also complement additional new and improved corridors and long-distance services in the southern region.

An Amtrak train leaving Dallas
An Amtrak train leaving Dallas

The contract to build this line was awarded to Webuild and Lane Construction in 2021. However, political changes and legal proceedings to confirm land rights have since paused the project.

Amtrak and Texas Central now hope to revive the project by further studying and advancing its progress.

Amtrak Senior Vice President of High-Speed Rail Development Programs Andy Byford said:

“If we are going to add more high-speed rail to this country, the Dallas to Houston Corridor is a compelling proposition and offers great potential. We believe many of the country’s biggest and fastest-growing metropolitan areas, like Houston and Dallas, deserve more high quality high-speed, intercity rail service and we are proud to bring our experience to evaluate this potential project and explore opportunities with Texas Central so the state can meet its full transportation needs.”

Texas Central and Amtrak have submitted applications to several federal programmes to enable further study and design work for the potential Dallas to Houston segment. This includes the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure Safety and Improvements (CRISI) grant programme, the Corridor Identification and Development programme, and the Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail (FSP-National) grant programme.

The proposed high-speed rail service would reduce travel time, improve reliability and increase capacity in order to promote ridership and encourage people to shift their trips to rail.

Once complete, forecasts suggest that it would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 100,000 tonnes per year by saving 65 million gallons of fuel and removing 12,500 cars per day from I-45.

Mayor Sylvester Turner of Houston said:

“The collaboration between Texas Central and Amtrak is an important milestone for the City of Houston and this project. Our city is committed to advancing transportation initiatives that support economic growth and enhance quality of life for our residents. The potential partnership of these two companies will accelerate the planning and analysis necessary for the successful implementation of a modern, efficient, and environmentally sustainable rail system connecting Houston and Dallas. I commend all parties involved for their dedication to this transformative project.”

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