Webuild and its United States subsidiary Lane Construction have signed the final agreement with Texas Central LCC to build the high-speed railway between Dallas and Houston with an operating speed of 320km/h.
The final agreement for the Dallas-Houston high-speed railway is valued at 16bn USD (13.19bn euros) and is the final step ahead of the financial closure – expected in the coming months – and the start of construction of the project.
This is the result of four years of work and analysis by Webuild and Lane and is one of the single biggest infrastructure projects in the United States in terms of value.
It also stands to be transformative for Webuild, completing a process started in 2014 when Salini increased its scale by merging with Impregilo, followed by Lane and more recently Astaldi, to create the Webuild Group.
Webuild and Lane will oversee the project’s civil engineering works, made up of the design and construction of 379km of railway, viaducts, maintenance and equipment buildings and services, industrial buildings, train depots and facilities.
A major part of the railway will be elevated, benefitting from the group’s experience in bridges and viaducts to reduce to a minimum the impact the infrastructure will have on the residents and landowners.
Approximately 17,000 direct jobs are to be created, and more than 20,000 indirect ones. An estimated 7.3bn USD (6.02bn euros) worth of materials from suppliers across 37 states will be used, together with services provided by highly specialised Italian suppliers. Once the trains come into service, more than 1,500 direct jobs will be created.
The high-speed railway is based on Central Japan Railway’s Tokaido Shinkansen system and will carry travellers at speeds of up to 320 km per hour – faster than any other rail service currently in the United States. It will bring passengers to either destination in less than 90 minutes, with a single stop at Brazos Valley near Texas A&M University. Departures are to be every 30 minutes during peak hours.
The service will prove to be a major benefit for at least 100,000 people – known as super commuters – who travel between the two cities by car or air every week. It will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 101,000 tons per year – emissions that would otherwise be produced by car and air travel between the two cities.
By 2050, approximately 13 million people are forecast to use the service.
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