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

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

Moderators: mtuandrew, gprimr1

  by Tadman
 
John_Perkowski wrote: Tue Apr 23, 2024 4:18 pm Admin note

If you are a contract law attorney, we invite you to share your knowledge here.
There's a lot more at play than just a few headline soundbytes. With regard to the "buy american" questions, Amtrak is a private entity that the feds own 100pct of preferred stock (common owned by BNSF et al) and controls by naming directors. There are probably easy ways to get around Buy American requirements, if they even are requirements or just policy set by management who knows what their instructions are from above.

With regard to the existing contracts, they may be very valid and useful and since they were signed before Amtrak's influence, you can't retroactively cancel them.

With regard to "we're in the driver seat", I'd like to see more detail. Was the operation sold to Amtrak? Strategic partnership? Operations subcontractor? "driver seat" is not a term of art and tells us nothing about this agreement. Also recall that Virgin was "in the driver seat" at Brightline for a hot minute and that didn't last.

Finally, the "it was planned for bankruptcy" doesn't work for me. I know places that did this and someone has to benefit to make this work. If Texas Central started up and then filed, who benefits? Not TC, not the investors, not all the creditors they still owe money to. The state of Texas was outwardly against the project. Who does that leave?
  by Jeff Smith
 
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/texas ... b7f0&ei=11
Texas Bullet Train Update as Route Unclear
...
NCTCOG transportation planning manager Brendon Wheeler confirmed at a public meeting that the agency is trying to find an outside partner but admitted potential investors are concerned about how the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process would affect their income.
...
According to The Dallas Morning News, Wheeler said at Monday's meeting that the search for a commercial partner for the Dallas-Fort Worth line won't begin until the project gets NEPA clearance, which is forecast for early 2025.
....
Proposals for a new elevated station in Cedars, Dallas, have already been approved federally and are expected to be incorporated into any Dallas-Fort Worth high-speed line.

Underground stations are planned for Fort Worth and Arlington, but their locations have not been confirmed, which will have to be done before the project gets environmental signoff.
...
  by charlesriverbranch
 
Amtrak is a private entity that the feds own 100pct of preferred stock (common owned by BNSF et al) and controls by naming directors.
I thought the Supreme Court ruled a few years ago that Amtrak is a government agency.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Mr. Charles River, a good rule to remember that if Amtrak deems it it's in their interest to be a private enterprise, it will be such. If in its interest to be a Federal Agency, then so be it.

They've played both ends against the middle through their entire fifty three year life.
Last edited by Gilbert B Norman on Wed Jun 19, 2024 8:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
  by Tadman
 
charlesriverbranch wrote: Tue Jun 18, 2024 10:39 am
Amtrak is a private entity that the feds own 100pct of preferred stock (common owned by BNSF et al) and controls by naming directors.
I thought the Supreme Court ruled a few years ago that Amtrak is a government agency.
It depends.

For certain purposes they are considered a private entity and for certain purposes they are considered a public agency. As GBN notes they try to use the most convenient classification depending on the needs and scenario. This comes about because it is a private company, but the preferred stock is 100pct owned by the US government and the losses have always been covered by the US government. You also have the common stock owned by BNSF, UP, and a few other Class 1's. It seems like a bit of a mess to me.
  by JohnFromJersey
 
scratchyX1 wrote: Tue Jun 18, 2024 9:52 am It's more direct, using the Private ROW, that using the Highway. Somewhere is an engineering study, showing the possible routes.
Yes but this project's delays and costs keep going up and up due to the private ROW and all the land disputes going on.

Maybe they could do a "hybrid" model where they use private ROW, but if there are significant land disputes, they run on highway medians?

It would be nice to see the actual route for this
  by electricron
 
JohnFromJersey wrote: Thu Jun 20, 2024 10:33 am
scratchyX1 wrote: Tue Jun 18, 2024 9:52 am It's more direct, using the Private ROW, that using the Highway. Somewhere is an engineering study, showing the possible routes.
Yes but this project's delays and costs keep going up and up due to the private ROW and all the land disputes going on.

Maybe they could do a "hybrid" model where they use private ROW, but if there are significant land disputes, they run on highway medians?

It would be nice to see the actual route for this
There will be no final determination of the route between Dallas and Fort Worth until the EIS study is completed. And believe it or not, they will be using the I-30 right-of-way over 90% of the way. But the median is full in Dallas County, or will be full in Tarrant County, with express manage lanes. Hence the need to go underground in tunnels under the interstate highway much of the way.

The major stumbling block of the D-FW EIS is the City of Dallas. Extending the HSR line north into downtown Dallas along the TRE line on an elevated 70 feet high viaduct is greatly frowned upon. The City would rather prefer an immediate 90 degree turn west along the I-30 corridor before entering downtown Dallas. If Fort Worth and Arlington get underground HSR stations, why can't Dallas is the political question the NCTCOG failed to answer.

The NCTCOG will need to address Dallas's concerns and reroute the HSR line in or around Downtown Dallas if it ever plans to get built. Dallas is not going to tear down its huge convention center it plans to expand to make room for a new elevated HSR line.
  by JohnFromJersey
 
eolesen wrote: Wed Jun 26, 2024 8:53 am That's a lot of money on all ends for a service that so few want...
It will be used extensively I presume. The Texas Triangle of cities, especially Dallas, is only increasing in population and the traffic only gets worse.

"Just one more lane" doesn't fix anything and is starting to get almost as expensive as HSR.
  by eolesen
 
JohnFromJersey wrote: Wed Jun 26, 2024 8:57 am It will be used extensively I presume. The Texas Triangle of cities, especially Dallas, is only increasing in population and the traffic only gets worse.
That's not the proposal being discussed. What we're talking about here is Dallas to Fort Worth HSR along I-30.

Very little justification for this. You might be able to argue some value for commuter service from Arlington to Dallas and from Arlington to Fort Worth, but in general, there's very little business or reasons for travel between Dallas and Fort Worth. They just happen to be neighboring cities with intermingled suburbs. They've spent more time in court fighting each other over the past 60 years than any two other municipalities I can think of.

If there was really a need, it's easy enough to start service up along the Union Pacific ROW or even build dedicated tracks along or above that right of way. You don't have to run down I-30 to be effective.
  by electricron
 
ExCon90 wrote: Wed Jun 26, 2024 8:29 pm How much of the mileage would be taken up by acceleration and deceleration versus actual HSR speed? And with no intermediate stops?
The proposed EIS suggests 30 minutes travel time between downtowns, which along I-30 corridor is around 30 miles. So the average speed of this D to FW HSR train will be around 60 mph. The TRE that already exists takes around an hour to travel 34 miles along its corridor, averaging around 30 mph.
This HSR train between D and FW is not going to reach high speeds. What it will do is provide a one seat ride between FW and H, and an additional train station in Arlington, which does not even have a transit system.
  by Tadman
 
It's curious to me why, other than one seat ride, they are extending to Fort Worth. If they wanted 30 minute train travel between the two, even as a feeder for TexHSR, couldn't they just run the TRE at non-stop 79mph?

Or could the TexHSR run non-stop at 79 on TRE rails? Would be a lot cheaer to put in a few passing sidings to dodge locals than building all new ROW. I think this is why Brightline did so well - they did a lot of upgrades but only new railway on the last 40(?) miles into Orlando.
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