Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Amtrak, Texas Central to explore high-speed rail services in Texas

National Passenger Rail Company of the U.S., Amtrak, and Texas Central Partners, are seeking federal grants for a proposed high-speed rail service between two of the top five major US metropolitan areas-Dallas and Houston.

Texas Central Partners is a private company proposing to build a high-speed rail line between Dallas and Houston.

Amtrak and Texas Central have submitted applications to several federal programs regarding further study and design work for a potential Dallas to Houston section, which includes 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.

Amtrak worked with Texas Central since 2016 when it contracted to provide tickets using the Amtrak reservation system and other support services for the planned high-speed rail line.

The proposed 240-mile (380km) route would provide less than a 90-minute trip during the Dallas-Houston 205-mph (330 km/h) high-speed rail project.

“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,” said Amtrak Senior Vice President of High-Speed Rail Development Programs Andy Byford. “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.”

When completed, the project will provide exceptional social, environmental, employment, and economic benefits to the people of Texas, including thousands of construction jobs and nearly a thousand long-term, skilled operations and maintenance jobs.

The project will reduce approximately 100,000 tons of carbon emission annually, saving 65 million gallons of fuel while removing 12,500 cars per day from the Interstate-45 (I-45) highway located within the U.S. state of Texas.

“This high-speed train, using advanced, proven Shinkansen technology, has the opportunity to revolutionize rail travel in the southern U.S., and we believe Amtrak could be the perfect partner to help us achieve that,” said Texas Central Chief Executive Officer Michael Bui. “We appreciate Amtrak’s continued collaboration and look forward to continuing to explore how we can partner in the development of this important project.”

In addition to existing Amtrak service in Texas and planned station improvements, Amtrak submitted grant applications for daily Sunset Limited service and an extension of the Crescent from Mississippi through Louisiana and Texas. Amtrak supports Kansas DOT’s Heartland Flyer Extension Corridor Identification and Development (Corridor ID) application that will connect Wichita and communities in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas to the Amtrak network. Amtrak also supports Texas DOT applications for the Texas Triangle (Dallas – Fort Worth – Houston – San Antonio) routes.