Amtrak-Texas Central agreement revives dormant Houston-Dallas high-speed rail project

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Thursday, August 10, 2023
High-speed rail revived? Developers' next steps to put the bullet train on fast track
High-speed rail revived? There's been talk for years abou a bullet train between Houston and Dallas. So, what makes this time different? The latest development.

Houston to Dallas in less than 90 minutes - that was the pitch being made all the way back in 2012 for an unprecedented, land-bound travel network across Texas.

A high-speed rail project in the state was originally slated for completion in 2020, but leadership changes and legal wrangling over land rights, among other issues, pushed the privately-funded project, which grew from $12 billion to $30 billion, into limbo.

SEE ALSO: 6 rural Texas counties file lawsuit against Houston-Dallas high speed train

But on Wednesday, hopes for a 240-mile route between two major U.S. metropolitan areas effectively were revived after original project manager Texas Central Railway and Amtrak announced an agreement to seek opportunities to advance planning and analysis work associated with the proposed 205-mph rail project.

The video is a from a previous report on the decade progress of Texas high-speed rail.

In a news release, Amtrak said the project would complement future, new, and improved corridor and long-distance service in its southern region.

According to Amtrak, the partnership has already submitted applications to several federal programs in connection with further study and design work for the potential Dallas to Houston segment, including the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure Safety and Improvements (CRISI) grant program, the Corridor Identification and Development program, and the Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail (FSP-National) grant program.

The agreement expands an already-existing partnership between Amtrak and Texas Central going back to 2016 when it entered into agreements to provide through-ticketing using the Amtrak reservation system and other support services for the planned high-speed rail line.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner weighed in on the progress, remarking on the potential benefits the city may see.

"This collaboration between Amtrak and Texas Central is a momentous milestone for the City of Houston," Turner said. "Our city is committed to advancing transportation initiatives that support economic growth and enhance quality of life for our residents. This agreement 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."