If you could take a high speed train from Houston to Dallas and not worry about a long drive or airport delays, would you? Well, one Texas company is betting you will.
Texas Central High Speed Railway is partnering with a Japanese company to make this happen, and Robert Eckles says it should be ready by 2021.
“Assuming everything works on an aggressive schedule, we think 2021 is a reasonable date,” Eckles said adding that regulation could push the schedule back.
Eckles says if you’re worried about having to pay a new tax to get this project done, you shouldn’t.
“We’re not looking for public money. Public money complicates the process,” Eckles stated.
So how is that possible? Andy Kunz of the US High Speed Railway Association explains that the Japanese company Texas Central is partnering with, Central Japan Railway has experience in doing this without help from taxes.
“They combine real estate with it. They’ve perfected real estate development hand in hand with the rail system,” Kunz said.
But Texans have a reputation of loving their cars and trucks. The Houston light rail system hasn’t attracted the number of customers developers were hoping it would. So will this new project take off? Kunz says it should.
“Once Dallas got a system and tried it out, the people loved it. They have expanded it now six or seven times,” Kunz explained.
Transportation consultant Richard Arena told KTRH this bullet train could change Texas in a big way.
“It’ll be revolutionary. We have a transportation system designed in the 1930’s and 1940s. For the most part you can’t build any more highways,” Arena explained.
And Arena says Texas could be an industry leader in high speed rail in the U.S.
“If any state could do it, Texas could do it. I firmly believe that. You’ve got a good team in place and a good partner,” Arena said.
And Eckles says if this all works out, a four to five hour drive would be cut down to just 90 minutes.