• High Speed Rail HSR (Houston - DFW Dallas Fort Worth) (FKA Texas Central )

  • Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.
Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

  by RandallW
IIRC, Texas Central is using private land because the Texas legislature outlawed using state-owned property (i.e., highway medians) for it.
  by electricron
Jeff Smith wrote: Sat May 06, 2023 8:28 am Brightline could certainly get this done quicker and cheaper. Texas Central's big mistake was using private land. Brightline would have had a deal on interstate ROW by now. Right now, though, they've got enough to chew on with Las Vegas.

They're also taking heat in Austin: https://www.kbtx.com/2023/05/05/texas-c ... utType=amp
Nothing new about nimbys testifying in the state legislature. When you lose in court, you cry to the legislature.
Texas Central has had a web site up for over 10 years, surf to it.
No doubt Brightline’s financing models seems to work better than Texas Central. I am not so sure their operations model will be better.
The legislature has forbidden TXDOT from aiding any high speed rail project, therefore freeways right of ways is a no no. Existing freight operators are also no no. Texas Central can not force the freights to share their row, only Amtrak can, and they have shown very little interest providing a service between Dallas and Houston for decades.
So Texas Central chose another corridor following high voltage utility lines.

And let’s get real, Brightline speed in Florida maxed out at 110 mph along the FEC. Their average speed will be 80 mph with an elapse time of 3 hours. The Brightline West proposal within I-15 median 95% of the way will be around an average 115 mph with a goal of 2.33 hours from Southern California to Las Vegas.for a train capable of 180 mph, they should be able to travel 360 miles in two hours. The EA suggests speeds higher than 125 mph for less than 50 miles. Just too many tight curves and grade changes along the I-15 route forcing somewhat lower speeds. Still, 115 mph is better than 80 mph.
Existing corridors that Brightline loves to use will not get passenger between Dallas and Houston with 90 minutes. At 115 mph average speeds, you are talking around 2 hours, at 80 mph average speeds along a freight rail corridor, you are talking around 3 hours, depending upon your choice of existing corridor.

Meanwhile, Texas Central HSR train meeting the 90 minute goal would average 160 mph. You get what you are willing to pay for. The less you spend, the slower you go. We will continue to argue forever how fast is good enough?
  by STrRedWolf
And in comes Amtrak:

https://www.axios.com/local/houston/202 ... speed-rail
Amtrak and Texas Central, the lead entity on building a high-speed rail network between Houston and Dallas, announced a new collaboration Wednesday.

Driving the news: The partnership opens up more opportunities for the future of the route, which has garnered some pushback from communities between the two cities over eminent domain issues since it was first proposed in 2014.
  by Jeff Smith
Texas Central and Amtrak Seek to Explore High-Speed Rail Service Opportunities between Dallas and Houston:
Amtrak Media
WASHINGTON – Texas Central Partners (“Texas Central”) and Amtrak are seeking opportunities to advance planning and analysis work associated with the proposed Dallas-Houston 205-mph high-speed rail project to further determine its viability. Amtrak has cooperated with Texas Central on various initiatives since 2016 and the two entities are currently evaluating a potential partnership to further study and potentially advance the project.

“If we are going to add more high-speed rail to this country, the Dallas to Houston Corridor is a compelling proposition and offers great potential,” said Amtrak Senior Vice President of High-Speed Rail Development Programs Andy Byford. “We believe many of the country’s biggest and fastest-growing metropolitan areas, like Houston and Dallas, deserve more high quality high-speed, intercity rail service and we are proud to bring our experience to evaluate this potential project and explore opportunities with Texas Central so the state can meet its full transportation needs.”

The proposed approximately 240-mile route would offer a total travel time of less than 90 minutes between two of the top five major U.S. metropolitan areas and would complement future, new and improved corridor and long-distance service in the southern region.

Texas Central and Amtrak have submitted applications to several federal programs in connection with further study and design work for the potential Dallas to Houston segment, including the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure Safety and Improvements (CRISI) grant program, the Corridor Identification and Development program, and the Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail (FSP-National) grant program.

Amtrak has worked with Texas Central since 2016 when it entered into agreements to provide through-ticketing using the Amtrak reservation system and other support services for the planned high-speed rail line.

“This high-speed train, using advanced, proven Shinkansen technology, has the opportunity to revolutionize rail travel in the southern U.S., and we believe Amtrak could be the perfect partner to help us achieve that,” said Texas Central Chief Executive Officer Michael Bui. “We appreciate Amtrak’s continued collaboration and look forward to continuing to explore how we can partner in the development of this important project.”

High-speed rail service with mostly-dedicated and purpose-built rights of way can radically shrink trip times, achieve excellent reliability and provide significant capacity – all things that will drive ridership and help convince people to shift their trips to rail. When complete, this project is forecast to provide significant social, environmental, employment and economic benefits to the people of Texas. As an example, the project is estimated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 100,000 tons per year, saving 65 million gallons of fuel while removing 12,500 cars per day from I-45.

“Dallas is the engine of the fourth largest and fastest growing region in the nation,” Dallas Mayor Eric L. Johnson said. “It is bold, innovative endeavors like this that will propel Dallas toward an even more prosperous future. A high-speed rail line would revolutionize transportation in our region, serve as a catalyst for economic growth, and enhance connectivity among Texas residents and businesses.”

“The collaboration between Texas Central and Amtrak is an important milestone for the City of Houston and this project,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner of Houston. “Our city is committed to advancing transportation initiatives that support economic growth and enhance quality of life for our residents. The potential partnership of these two companies will accelerate the planning and analysis necessary for the successful implementation of a modern, efficient, and environmentally sustainable rail system connecting Houston and Dallas. I commend all parties involved for their dedication to this transformative project.”

Construction and operations of the proposed high-speed rail line would bring significant economic benefits to the region, including thousands of well-paying construction jobs and nearly one thousand long-term, skilled operations and maintenance positions.

“The Ironworkers strongly support the Dallas-to-Houston high speed rail project,” said Jerry Wilson, Iron Workers District Council of Texas and the Mid South States. “Not only is it safe and green, but it will provide hundreds of highly skilled, good paying jobs for our members as we transport, erect and install the infrastructure.”

Byford joined Amtrak in April 2023 to begin developing a team focused on high-speed opportunities throughout the US. In his newly created role, he will develop and lead the execution of Amtrak’s long-term strategy for high-speed rail throughout the country.

In addition to current Amtrak service in Texas and planned station improvements, Amtrak submitted grant applications for daily Sunset Limited service and the extension of the Crescent from Mississippi through Louisiana and Texas. Amtrak supports Kansas DOT’s Heartland Flyer Extension Corridor Identification and Development (Corridor ID) application that will connect Wichita and communities across Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas to the Amtrak network. Amtrak also supports Texas DOT’s applications for the Texas Triangle (Dallas – Fort Worth – Houston – San Antonio) routes.
  by eolesen
Yep, it's what's been said all along: get private investment to build it, declare bankruptcy, default on the private investments, and hand it over to the government.....

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  by STrRedWolf
This jives with a high speed rail line between Dallas and Ft. Worth:

https://www.govtech.com/transportation/ ... rail-plans
(TNS) — The North Central Texas Council of Governments hosting open houses in August in September on a proposed high-speed rail line linking Dallas and Fort Worth.

The project’s study has finished its first phase and is now in its second, focused on examining potential social and environmental effects along the possible route, according to a Wednesday news release from the council.

The open house will include video and presentation boards about proposed technology for the rail and the recommended route. The preferred route is “generally located along Interstate Highway 30 between downtown Dallas and downtown Fort Worth, with a stop in the Arlington Entertainment District,” the news release reads.
  by Jeff Smith
Update: Axios
Dallas-Fort Worth could be "first true high-speed corridor"
Why it matters: A bullet train connecting Dallas to Houston would create the "first true high-speed corridor" in the country, per Amtrak officials.

A separate high-speed train connecting Fort Worth and Dallas would be transformational to both cities and open fast travel opportunities within Texas and to other states.
The latest: Amtrak officials briefed the Dallas City Council this week on what's next for the proposed high-speed rail project, and regional transportation officials urged council members to support a connection along Interstate 30 to Fort Worth.

The projects would be developed separately but could ultimately connect Fort Worth to Houston via fast rail.
  by Gilbert B Norman
eolesen wrote: Fri Aug 11, 2023 12:31 pm Yep, it's what's been said all along: get private investment to build it, declare bankruptcy, default on the private investments, and hand it over to the government..
Off topic here, but that is where I think Brightline (FL) is heading.

It's here to stay, but it needs more than the 99 passengers - Coach and First - I counted on my 4P McCOy departure joyride last month.

And finally, let me get my peeve in here. Brightline, what's so super-secret about your train numbers that you cannot share them with the public?

(to be continued over at our active Brightline forum).
  by Tadman
eolesen wrote: Fri Aug 11, 2023 12:31 pm Yep, it's what's been said all along: get private investment to build it, declare bankruptcy, default on the private investments, and hand it over to the government.....

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This would be easy to agree with but I don't understand who it benefits. It doesn't benefit the private operator. The investors don't like it. Clearly the state of Texas doesn't want anything to do with it. Siemens has enough orders to fill their boooks. If it were this simple, we'd find someone behind the conspiracy that benefits and I don't know who that is.
  by eolesen

Tadman wrote: This would be easy to agree with but I don't understand who it benefits. It doesn't benefit the private operator. The investors don't like it. Clearly the state of Texas doesn't want anything to do with it. Siemens has enough orders to fill their boooks. If it were this simple, we'd find someone behind the conspiracy that benefits and I don't know who that is.
The point is nobody benefits from the Texas Central build aside from the initial suppliers and contractors.

As for the 30 mile DAL-FTW via Arlington...


Almost nobody rides the TRE all the way between Dallas and Fort Worth today, and both ends are fully integrated into DART and The T.

The level of traffic demand needed to support an express service with 200-300 seats an hour won't suddenly appear just because there's a stop in Arlington. And I doubt there's demand from Arlington alone.

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  by Nasadowsk
Maybe we should do nothing, so we can sit and moan about it in online forums for another few decades?

As for Amtrak, looks like Brightline is threatening their little fiefdom, and they don’t like it. It’s sad that government run transit agencies in the US act this way, but they do…
  by Jeff Smith
Development Interference: Chron.com
High speed bullet train route could be derailed by mega Texas developer

Hunt Realty Investment says an elevated rail track in downtown Dallas would disrupt its plans for a $5 billion development.
Mega Texas developer Hunt Realty Investments is arguing that a part of the elevated route in downtown Dallas will disrupt its plans to build a $5 billion development near the iconic Reunion Tower. A spokesperson said the company opposes the planned above-ground route from Dallas to Fort Worth, which would go through downtown Dallas. The company, however, is in support of a train connection from Dallas to Houston.

It's a continuation of the debate first seen at the North Central Texas Council of Governments' Regional Transportation Council last month, where members disagreed on whether part of the rail route should be built underground or above ground because of its impact on the economic development of Dallas' downtown area. But now, Hunt insists the above-ground bullet train will be a disaster for downtown Dallas. They claim the proposed rail route would pass close to the Hyatt Regency's hotel room windows and the Reunion Tower complex, forcing the company to "sacrifice" more than 1,000 hotel rooms, affordable housing development plans, and the iconic 561-foot Reunion Tower Ball, one of the most recognizable Dallas landmarks, reported WFAA ABC 8 News.

The proposed rail route would slice through the southwest corner of downtown Dallas where Hunt Realty Investments own more than 20-acre Reunion Properties, including the Hyatt hotel and the tower. According to the company, they had plans to build on land they own around those properties, but those plans are now in jeopardy because of the elevated train track.
  by electricron
Additionally, many Dallas city council members at the present time question the very expensive extension to Fort Worth because the TRE already exists. The proposed NCTCOG HSR plan suggests around 30 minutes travel time when the TRE does so in 60 minutes. That's a proposed 60 mph average speed vs the present 30 mph average speed, An express TRE train can match that proposed 60 mph average speed. Just a matter of adding additional tracks into the TRE rail corridor wide enough to fit more. Granted, additional capacity to an existing corridor is not as fancy and cool as HSR. :-)

There's a reason why Texas Central stopped 5 miles short of downtown Houston and why they stopped a half mile short of Dallas' Union Station. The main reason being the very high costs of building new tracks and new stations in central business districts.

NCTCOG is looking for the best solution, not for the most efficient and practicable solution.
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