Several public hearings over a period of months are next for the Texas Central Railway.  Former Harris County Judge Robert Eckels is president of the effort to put the multi-billion dollar project together.  He says there have been many discussions with environmental groups.

“It is low emissions, not just low-carbon emissions,” Eckels says.  “But, it's much cleaner than a car, or a truck or a bus or an airplane, going back and forth.”

Hearings will start in late September.  The final permitting process would follow that, with work done by 2020 and the high-speed trains making the 90-minute trip between Dallas and Houston the year after that. 

“When we finish that we move into the final permitting process and ultimately should complete the project by 2020,” he says, “and be operational by 2021.”