Local leaders in Dallas-Fort Worth, where traffic congestion is a near-universal concern among many of the region’s roughly 7 million residents, want the world’s biggest passenger rail operators to know that if they’re willing to build the super-fast trains in North Texas they will find a more-than-receptive audience.
Texas Central Partners, a private company armed with technology from Japan’s largest rail provider, has already proposed building a high-speed line from Dallas to Houston. That project, which could cost $10 billion or more but would be privately funded, is on course to be completed in 2022 — although it is opposed by many elected leaders. Last week, state Rep. Bryon Cook, R-Corsicana, asked the attorney general’s office to rule on whether Texas Central Partners would have the power of eminent domain, to take land needed for the bullet trains.
Meadows’ commission is working on expanding the system beyond Dallas and Houston, to also include stops in Arlington and Fort Worth and eventually Austin, San Antonio and possibly cities in adjacent states. So far, there has been little or no vocal opposition to the concept of high-speed rail in the Dallas-Fort Worth region.
Texas needs trains that can fill a void left by airlines, who are putting more emphasis on international and other long-distance flights and less emphasis on intrastate travel.
In North Texas, the high-speed rail line would connect at a proposed new station either just south of Interstate 30 or perhaps straddling the freeway on the southeast end of downtown Dallas. From there, the proposal believed to have the most support calls for high-speed rail lines to follow the Trinity Railway Express route to near CentrePort Station just south of DFW Airport.
Then the high-speed rail trains would extend south, either along the Dorothy Spur freight railroad tracks or the Texas 360 highway corridor to Arlington’s entertainment district, where the bullet trains would then continue along the I-30 corridor to downtown Fort Worth.
There are other proposals for alternate high-speed rail routes, including one option to follow the TRE line from Dallas to Fort Worth, although that option is not believed to be popular because it would bypass Arlington.
Another option would be to run the entire high-speed rail line in the median of I-30, although that option would be tricky because I-30 is packed into a tight right-of-way space in Dallas County.
SOURCE – Dallas Star Telegram, NeoHouston