Posts Tagged ‘Texas Central’

Texas Central Chooses Environment Consultant

February 10, 2019

Texas Central has chosen a consultant to create an environmental protection plan for its proposed high-speed rail line.

It has hired Resource Environmental Solutions to provide ecological mitigation services and ensure that the rail line complies with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers requirements to restore, enhance and preserve wetlands, streams and environmentally sensitive habitats along the train’s route between Houston and Dallas.

RES will select mitigation sites and designs that improve the ecological functions of such areas as the Trinity River, Navasota River, Spring Creek and Cypress Creek.

Texas Central said it also wants to be proactive in working with community leaders to determine opportunities for conservation.

In an unrelated development, some Texas lawmakers have introduced bills in the current session of the state legislature that are designed to halt development of the Texas Central project.

Many of those bills mirror legislation introduced in the last session when 20 bills were introduced seeking to kill the project. None of them became law.

One of the bills was filed by first-term legislator Cody Harris who wants to create a joint committee of House and Senate members to look at the future development of high-speed rail.

However, in a news release, Harris acknowledged that his bill’s purpose is to “put up more roadblocks on the HSR by evaluating the feasibility of creating a statewide high-speed rail initiative through a public-private partnership.”

The committee would meet between sessions to address the feasibility of creating a statewide high-speed rail initiative through a public-private partnership.

The legislation has been attacked by Texas rail advocates.

“Representative Harris is misinformed on the premise of wasting billions of taxpayer dollars since Texas Central is not accepting any funding from either state or federal agencies to build their high-speed line,” Texas Rail Advocates President and Rail Passengers Chairman Peter LeCody said.

“If this was a public project instead of a private-investor led initiative it would probably cost three times the amount to build and take years longer. Mr. Harris should also realize that Texas Central would be a taxpayer to help fund local schools. Letting private enterprise lead the way in Texas with this massive job-creating project to connect the two mega-powerhouse regions is the logical step. The state demographer says that over 80 percent of Texans now live on or east of the I-35 corridor. This rail project will help unite those regions and allow for more fluid movement in the future.”

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Texas Central Expects 2019 Groundbreaking

December 5, 2018

A Texas intercity rail firm expects to break ground late in 2019 for a route between Dallas and Houston.

Texas Central said the equipment to be used on the route is likely be an N700I model train, which is a modified version of the N700 bullet train that Central Japan Railways operates.

The letter T in the model designation denotes international use and intention for export.

The N700I is thought to be similar to the recently-released N700S, which is lighter and more efficient than the original N700.

However, the Texas trains will be eight cars rather than 16.

Texas Central plans to seek funding once its proposal has been approved by the Federal Railroad Administration.

It has said it already has plans to acquire a third of the property it needs and is in negotiations to obtain the remaining land that it needs.

Texas Central Taps Renfe

October 11, 2018

Spanish company Renfe has been chosen to help operate a Texas high-speed rail service under development.

Texas Central said it has established a partnership with Renfe to operate the proposed service between Dallas and Houston.

Renfe will provide technical advice on design and construction and help Texas Central with operation and maintenance plans.

Another Spanish company, Adif, will help Renfe maintain equipment and signals, and oversee ticketing.

Renfe operates 5,000 trains daily on 7,500 miles of track in Spain.

Texas Central Secures $300M Loan

September 17, 2018

The developers of a Texas high-speed rail passenger system have secured a $300 million loan.

Texas Central Partners will use the money to work toward getting permits for the rail line as well as engineering work.

A Dallas newspaper said the loan is being backed by financiers in Japan.

The 240-mile rail line would link Dallas and Houston and become the first privately owned high-speed train in the United States.

Texas Central has said it plans to use Japanese Shinkansen technology for the train.

“This is a loan to be paid back with interest,” the company said in a statement. “It does not change the train’s majority-Texan ownership.”

Texas Central has also received funding from investors living in Texas. The project is expected to cost between $12 billion to $15 billion.

Amtrak, Texas Central Reach Agreement

May 8, 2018

High-speed rail developer Texas Central has reached an agreement with Amtrak to use the latter’s reservation system once its high-speed Dallas-Houston system begins service.

In a news release, Texas Central said the agreement will allow for a through-ticketing option to better enable passengers to transfer between the two rail systems.

Texas Central also will be able to purchase such Amtrak services as training, marketing and sales.Construction of the Texas Central route has yet to begin.

The Federal Railroad Administration is working to complete a study of the proposed 240-mile route.

The FRA issued a draft environmental impact statement last December that is now the subject of a public comment period.

Amtrak ceased offering service between Dallas and Houston in 1995 when it discontinued a leg of the Texas Eagle.