Spain-based Renfe on board as early operator of Texas Central's high-speed rail

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Thursday, July 15, 2021
Texas bullet train project still lacks necessary permits
It's been nearly a decade. So what's the hold up on the Texas bullet train project?

Officials with Texas Central, the developers behind the proposed high-speed train connecting Dallas to Houston, announced the signing of a contract with Renfe Operadora to be the project's early operator.

According to a news release, Renfe operates 5,000 trains daily and plays an integral role in Spain's transportation system.

"Renfe has an established reputation for excellence in railroad operations in Spain and across the world," Texas Central CEO Carlos Aguilar said in a statement. "With their decades of expertise, they were a natural fit to join our team of best-in-class global experts setting the foundation for this new jobs-creating industry we are bringing to Texas."

Community Impact Newspaper first reported the partnership between Texas Central and Renfe in 2018. At the time, the high-speed rail project was slated to break ground the following year. Last month, Texas Central representatives said construction should start by the end of this year or in early 2022.

Renfe will work with Texas Central on the design and development of the commercial aspects of the project and provide expertise and support to senior decision makers. Renfe leaders will also provide advisory and consulting services when it comes to final design, construction and testing, among other parts of the process, according to the release.

"High-speed rail provides a safe, time-efficient, and environmentally-friendly transportation option," Renfe President Isaías Táboas said in a statement. "We truly believe that the Texas Central Railroad project meets all the conditions to become the first truly high-speed system in the U.S. and that it will be a game-changer for the state and the country."

Officials announced last month the signing of a $16 billion contract with a global engineering and construction company called Webuild to lead the civil construction team that will build the train. Just a few days later, the Texas Supreme Court confirmed Texas Central could use eminent domain if necessary to acquire land needed to construct the project.

According to the news release, Texas Central officials are now focusing on "final due diligence" and securing funding. Once construction begins, it is expected to take six years and use $7.3 billion of materials sourced from 37 states across the country.

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The video above is from a previous story of the Texas bullet train.