Texas Central HSR (Houston - DFW Dallas Fort Worth)

General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

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Texas Central HSR (Houston - DFW Dallas Fort Worth)

Postby kaitoku » Fri Sep 24, 2010 2:32 am

Some news from Texas, somewhat overshadowed by California and Florida in the HSR plans department, but apparently seen by JR Central as an attractive market for their expertise and N700i trainsets. The chairman of JR Central Railway, outspoken (and conservative) Mr. Yoshiyuki Kasai, presented his firm's proposal for a Houston-Dallas HSR link to Houston business leaders, and which is intended to be built with largely private funds:

http://culturemap.com/newsdetail/09-23- ... rain-plan/

article with powerpoint of the actual presentation:
http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/unfairp ... o-dall.php

This is an interesting move by JR Central, who first focused on Florida, but appear to be moving into a market that has so far seen little interest from other HSR makers- no doubt a result of Texas' lukewarm attitude so far to HSR. But JR Central seems to be making a smart move by appealing to business interests and private funding in the current "teapartyesque" political climate. Also, there was a recent announcement that rolling stock maker Nippon Sharyo, which is a subsidiary of JR Central, will build a factory in Rochelle Illinois, ostensibly to fullfill an order for 160 double deck EMUs for Chicago's Metra, but possibly also for any future orders of their N700i high speed trainset.

Anyway, will be interesting to see where this goes...
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Texas HSR update

Postby kaitoku » Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:53 am

With all the focus on California HSR and failures in Florida, Wisconsin, and Ohio, the Texas HSR proposal has been moving along, albeit slowly:
http://impactnews.com/grapevine-colleyv ... le-by-2020

http://www.chron.com/neighborhood/cyfai ... 157909.php

Of course you get the usual idiots with their pavlovian knee-jerkism (HSR+Obama= "boondoggle"). This clown doesn't even know the Texas HSR project will largely be privately funded:
http://www.yourhoustonnews.com/blogs/pr ... 03286.html
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Re: Texas HSR update

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:29 am

The one thing you can say about Don'tMessWithTexasLand is that big biz and lining pockets of big biz with gov't money trumps fire-breathing ideology every single time. So if private fatcats have their greasy paws all over it, it'll get play from the same usual suspects who would otherwise scream bloody murder about rail "socialism". Whereas other states it would be total D.O.A. with the ideologues. Texas has its own uniquely warped pragmatism underneath about such things that's fairly predictable amid all the strutting and bluster.

Slowly being operative word. But this one has better chance of lurching forward than every other proposal save for California, NEC improvements, and laying groundwork for the Chicago hub.
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Re: Texas HSR update

Postby CREEPING DEATH » Tue Oct 11, 2011 7:33 pm

It's DOA, I'm old enough to remember the Texas Triangle a/k/a Texas TGV - this isn't going to happen!

CD
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Re: Texas HSR update

Postby jstolberg » Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:47 pm

CREEPING DEATH wrote:It's DOA, I'm old enough to remember the Texas Triangle a/k/a Texas TGV - this isn't going to happen!

CD

The population of Texas is up 50% since the Texas TGV proposal. If the population of Texas rises another 50% it could get a heartbeat.
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Re: Texas HSR update

Postby electricron » Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:36 am

jstolberg wrote:
CREEPING DEATH wrote:It's DOA, I'm old enough to remember the Texas Triangle a/k/a Texas TGV - this isn't going to happen!

CD

The population of Texas is up 50% since the Texas TGV proposal. If the population of Texas rises another 50% it could get a heartbeat.


I'll agree it is not a question of whether inter-city rail between Dallas and Houston will exists, it's a question of what type of service it will be and when it'll get built.
It'll certainly help if they used an existing rail corridor, or build HSR as adjacent as possible to an existing corridor. It's not so much rural Texans dislike the train as much as they dislike having their property separated into different tracts.
I remember controversy over where a new bypass of Granbury was routed. Everyone was in favor of a new bypass, they just differed on exactly where to put it. TXDOT wanted to follow existing tract borders, the County Judge wanted it 600 feet within his tract so he could develop land on both sides of the new highway. Local politics in Texas can get nasty very quickly. Eminent domain has been, is, and will always be done at the local level in Texas. Citizens in rural counties that a new HSR line must run through will not just let TGV or another agency run roughshod over them.
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Re: Texas HSR update

Postby Jeff Smith » Mon Jun 04, 2012 8:47 am

A blog point-of-view on TX HSR issues.

http://keephoustonhouston.wordpress.com ... texas-hsr/


-Use the SP site / Barbara Jordan PO site for the terminal.

-290 is the exit route

-Get out of San Antonio on IH-10, but resist the siren song of 130

-Have a three-way with the Metroplex

-Avoid Downtown Austin

-Tying it all together

-And the technology?


I left out the details, but if you'd like to discuss these point by point...
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Re: Texas HSR update

Postby electricron » Mon Jun 04, 2012 10:47 am

You made some excellent points in tour blog, it's hard to disagree with someone with such good supportive explanations. The only point I really disagree with is the loop at DFW end. I believe building one terminal somewhere in Dallas should suffice, there's already TRE trains between both cities, and Dallas has a maturing light rail system connecting most suburbs. What's left is selecting the specific site for the HSR terminal. Almost every route possible from the south, either using highways or railways. must cross the relatively wide Trinity River floodplain, which could also be used for entry into the center of Dallas. So a HSR terminal near the floodplain is the obvious answer, not too far away from Union Station. I don't think there's sufficient room at Union Station for dedicated HSR tracks.

I would also prefer to follow the Japanese model for HSR trains, operationally more than just the train sets. The European HSR model isn't as self supporting as advertised, and I doubt the State Of Texas plans to ever own the corridors. The JR Group likes to incorporate huge commercial developments near or within their train terminals to generate additional revenues.More akin to skyscrapers surrounding Penn Station or Grand Central Station in NYC rather than Union Station in L.A. They'll want to do the same in Texas. Existing train stations may not be where they'll want to build the HSR terminals, they will probably want to place them in areas they can redevelop into relatively large TODs. Like the Galleria areas in both Dallas and Houston, a new large TOD along the rail corridor of choice before reaching downtown might be what they'll do. Hint: There's lots of empty parking near both Dallas and Houston convention centers ripe for redevelopment with train tracks nearby. Maybe that's 20-30 years in the far future, maybe the existing train stations will suffice for startup, but only initially. JR Group will eventually want space to grow.
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Re: Texas HSR update

Postby kaitoku » Mon Jun 04, 2012 9:49 pm

Build the station where it will serve (and attract) the greatest number of paying customers- whether that's the existing station area or otherwise. Agree with electricron on the one station in Dallas, though an additional to the terminus "parkway" station near a freeway interchange and room for airport style services (car rental, motels/ low rise "courtyard hotels") would be good.
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Re: Texas HSR update

Postby electricron » Tue Jun 05, 2012 12:10 am

Whereas I believe one station per city should be enough; if two stations are built - I'll agree building one downtown as a "kiss & ride" and one near a freeway loop (I-635, I-610, or I-410) as a "park & ride" makes sense. The "park & ride" station locations could also be used for maintenance shops, reducing the size of the station footprints needed in more expensive downtown acreage.
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Re: Texas HSR update

Postby kaitoku » Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:38 am

I'm not familiar with the layout of Dallas (and even less with Houston), but one of the benefits of a second city station located on the suburban periphery or on the edge of the outer CBD (the aforementioned parkway or kiss n' ride station) is that it serves the auto-bound suburban dweller who may not be inclined to take public transport into a downtown area station. Also, and once again I don't know the patterns of business location in either metro area, but I reckon many businesses are located in low density suburban business parks. You need to attract business clientele to be a successful and profitable operation. In Japan, one of the functions of Shin-Yokohama Station in Kanagawa Prefecture (which was a greenfield station when built) is to serve the suburbs of the southern Kanto area, and saves passengers living in that area the time and hassle of going into Tokyo to catch a shinkansen.
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Re: Texas HSR update

Postby Rockingham Racer » Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:32 pm

Most cities have lots more than one station for commuters; New York, Chicago, Boston come to mind.
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Re: Texas HSR update

Postby kaitoku » Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:26 pm

Two week old article, but relevant to Texas HSR and potential customers:

Texas is tops in nation for super-commuters, with Dallas-to-Houston leading the way

Has that Frisco-to-Dallas commute got you down? Buck up, you could be headed to Houston every day for work.

Plenty of your neighbors do, according to a study released earlier this year, and touted in the Dallas Business Journal today.

In 2009, almost 52,000 residents of Dallas Fort Worth worked in Houston, the busiest long-distance commute in the country.

And plenty others come here from distant homes, too. Of the top five super-commutes among major U.S. cities, Dallas figures as a destination for two, drawing 44,300 workers from Houston each day and 32,400 from Austin.

Commuters like those coming from Houston and Austin helped make Dallas County tied for the highest percent of workers coming from distant homes in the country, 13.2 percent. The other top destination was Harris County. In all, according to 2009 figures, some 176,000 workers in Dallas County commute from from homes that are outside of the Dallas Fort Worth metropolitan area, according to the study.

Beyond making you feel like a wimp for complaining about traffic on the DNT, these numbers make up the business case that proponents of high speed rail have been trying to make for years, namely that thousands of workers already travel between Dallas, Austin and Houston every day, and that many would prefer to do it on a train than on a plane.


http://transportationblog.dallasnews.co ... -way.html/
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Re: Texas HSR update

Postby electricron » Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:55 pm

Rockingham Racer wrote:Most cities have lots more than one station for commuters; New York, Chicago, Boston come to mind.

For commuter and regional trains, yes. For HSR trains, no!
From Amtrak's Acela HSR train timetables......
NEW HAVEN, CT
Stamford, CT
NEW YORK, NY
NEWARK, NJ
Metropark, NJ
PHILADELPHIA, PA
Cities capitalize are visited by every Acela train, non-capitalize cities aren't.
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Re: Texas HSR update

Postby Jeff Smith » Fri Aug 17, 2012 2:22 pm

News update: http://www.news-journal.com/news/local/ ... ad51d.html

A Texas company is planning to build a bullet train that would move passengers from Dallas-Fort Worth to Houston in 90 minutes. The news announced this week by Texas Central High-Speed Railway was music to Griff Hubbard’s ears. Hubbard, executive director of the East Texas Corridor Council, said the group has been working for years to get “higher-speed” rail from Longview to Dallas.

...

The Texas company aims to have bullet trains moving at 205 mph between Houston and the metroplex by 2020 without government funding. The company is backed by a group led by Central Japan Railway Co., which handles more than 100 million passengers each year on its bullet trains in Japan.


From the table:

■The N700-I Bullet, which could be in operation from Dallas to Houston by 2020, is the fastest, safest, quietest, most reliable and greenest conventional high-speed rail system available in the world today, according to Texas Central High-Speed Railway.
■Texas Central High-Speed Railway is a U.S. company associated with Central Japan Railway Co., which operates 323 high-speed trains daily between the Japanese cities of Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka transporting an average of 409,000 passengers daily.

Source: http://lshsr.com
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