Transportation

Federal Agency Is About To Take More Public Comment On Houston-To-Dallas High-Speed Rail

A study has now identified the train’s proposed route. Some area residents say they’re anxious to make their voices heard

Part of the high-speed rail line connecting Houston and Dallas would be built along Hempstead Road and, Texas Central, the company in charge of the project estimates it could create 1,000 permanent jobs.
Part of the high-speed rail line connecting Houston and Dallas would be built along Hempstead Road and, Texas Central, the company in charge of the project estimates it could create 1,000 permanent jobs.

The Federal Railroad Administration is preparing to take comment on its draft environmental impact statement for the proposed high-speed train between Houston and Dallas. Plans also call for a stop near College Station.

Texas Central is using private money to build the train and it’s expected to cost about $12 billion. The route that’s now been identified would take the train along existing utility corridors.

We got an update on the project from Texas Central’s Holly Reed. She says public meetings will start shortly.

“People will have the opportunity to attend the Federal Railroad Administration’s public meetings or they can also be heard online,” said Reed. “It is an extensive process that the Federal Railroad Administration undertakes.”

Texas Central is also seeking a location for its high-speed rail station here in Houston, with one suggested location near U.S. 290 and the 610 Loop. Reed says if that’s where they locate they plan to make it a multimodal facility.

“If you ride the train for an hour and a half and you can’t get to your ultimate destination then you won’t ride the train,” said Reed. “So we’re working to develop stations that accommodate parking, that accommodate rental cars, rideshare, being able to get on Metro.”

Texas Central is touting the project as an economic generator that would dramatically cut the travel time between Houston and Dallas. The company is now working to acquire right-of way, but some residents along the proposed route fear it would harm their rural quality of life.

One of those residents is David Tullos is with the Grimes County Citizens Advisory Group. He’s also running for a seat on Commissioners Court. We asked Tullos where they’re going next with their efforts.

“What we’re doing now is evaluating this new document,” explained Tullos. “And once we’ve got a better understanding of everything involved in it, then we’ll know the next step to move forward.”

The public comment period runs through February 20, and the Federal Railroad Administration says it’s planning ten public meetings along the train’s proposed route.

 

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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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