In a significant move towards revolutionizing rail travel in the United States, Texas Central Partners and Amtrak are intensifying efforts to explore the feasibility of a proposed high-speed rail link between Dallas and Houston.
This rail project envisions trains racing at speeds of up to 205 mph, slashing travel time to less than 90 minutes across the approximately 240-mile stretch.
Since 2016, Amtrak and Texas Central have cooperated on various initiatives. Their current focus lies in potential partnerships for advancing this ambitious rail project. Amtrak’s Senior Vice President of High-Speed Rail Development Programs, Andy Byford, expressed confidence in the potential of the Dallas-Houston corridor and emphasized the need for enhanced high-speed rail services in major metropolitan regions like Dallas and Houston.
The duo has applied for several federal programs, including the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure Safety and Improvements (CRISI) grant program and the Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail (FSP-National) grant program, to further advance the design and study of this segment.
Michael Bui, Texas Central’s CEO, highlighted the prospective benefits of the Shinkansen technology, a leading innovation in high-speed rail travel, and expressed enthusiasm about a potential collaboration with Amtrak. Bui said, “We appreciate Amtrak’s continued collaboration and look forward to continuing to explore how we can partner in the development of this important project.”
The project’s anticipated impact is far-reaching. Environmental benefits include an estimated yearly reduction of over 100,000 tons in greenhouse gas emissions and the daily removal of 12,500 cars from I-45, resulting in a fuel saving of 65 million gallons.
Mayor Eric L. Johnson of Dallas and Mayor Sylvester Turner of Houston both lauded the venture, emphasizing the transformative potential of such an infrastructure project for the Texan economy and quality of life.
In addition to job creation in construction, the proposed rail line is predicted to offer nearly a thousand long-term positions in operations and maintenance. Jerry Wilson of Iron Workers District Council highlighted the project’s potential to provide a plethora of skilled jobs.
Andy Byford, who joined Amtrak in April 2023, will spearhead the company’s strategy for high-speed rail developments across the U.S., with this Dallas-Houston corridor being a key component of that vision.