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Published on May 26, 2024
Texas Cities Eye High-Speed Rail Revolution: San Antonio-Austin Link Progresses, Bullet Train Plans from Dallas to Houston Forge Ahead Source: Unsplash/ Daniel Abadia

A transportation revolution as high-speed rail proposals are gaining traction in several Texas urban areas. Recent developments indicate that plans for a rail connecting San Antonio and Austin are moving forward aggressively. A group of 20 South Texas officials, including San Antonio's Sukh Kaur, Jalen McKee Rodriguez, Melissa Cabello Havrda, and Manny Palaez, is pushing for the project. According to FOX San Antonio, the coalition believes that "a robust suite of mobility options, especially rail, is vital to keeping our region a shining beacon of success and excellence."

In another major move, the Texas Central Railway firm has its eyes set on a bullet train that would whisk passengers at a crisp 220 mph among the state's largest cities. Chairman of the North Texas High-Speed Rail Commission, Bill Meadows of Fort Worth, is sold on the idea that high-speed rail will be the "preferred transportation method in the latter part or the middle part of the 21st century." Meadows has confirmed downtown Dallas as a stop for the route, with potential expansions to connect Fort Worth, Arlington, and eventually Texas' capital, Government Technology reports.

The ambitious rail project is not just a fever dream of transportation officials but also stands as testimony to international collaboration. Texas Central Railway, which is keen on mirroring Japan's bullet train model, has engaged in talks with Japan Central Railway. Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, who met with the Japanese company’s Chairman Yoshiyuki Kasai, told Government Technology, "He thinks it's a very viable project and the connection needs to come through Fort Worth."

Initially, the high-speed connection would link Houston to Dallas by 2021, with a price tag of around $10 billion in private investments. Later stages, which might include running the routes over the Interstate 30 right-of-way to connect Arlington and Fort Worth, could cost an additional $4 billion. This phase of development will likely look towards federal and local funds for fulfillment. While Texas Central Railway's headquarters did not respond to requests for comment, the anticipation among officials in Dallas is palpable, with the city already envisioning Union Station as a future transit hub.