Timetable for Houston-to-Dallas bullet train uncertain after company lays off 28 employees

DALLAS, Texas (KTRK) -- Many workers hired to create the nation's first high-speed bullet train from Dallas to Houston were laid off Friday due to COVID-19 economic impacts.

"Unfortunately, like many other companies and organizations around the world, we have been forced to make hard decisions in an effort to make the best use of our current funding," said Carlos Aguilar, CEO of Texas Central High-Speed Rail. "The result has been the layoff of approximately 28 employees."

Experts needed to make this project a success have been hired from many different parts of the world.

"This is one of those moments where we have to acknowledge how small our world really is," he said. "Our engineering partner is in Italy, our operations partner is in Spain and our technology provider is in Japan. Understanding the impact of COVID-19 and the challenges those countries and the US are facing, is a new fact of life."

Texas Central expects to create more than 17,000 jobs during construction and a multi-billion-dollar economic impact across the U.S through contracts with steel mills and other manufacturers, minority and women owned businesses, veterans and rural businesses.

Aguilar hopes that work will begin on the project by July 31, after the federal government approves permits and the global financial markets stabilize.

RELATED LINKS:
History of Texas bullet train project
First look inside Texas Bullet Train shows no middle seats 6059224
Copyright © 2020 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.