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Amtrak States Texas Has The Perfect Conditions For A Bullet Train

Andy Byford, Amtrak’s Senior VP of High-Speed Rail Development, emphasized that Texas has the perfect conditions for the Dallas-to-Houston high-speed rail project. With increasing demand, Texas’ growing population and growing political support, the conditions are ripe for progress.

Byford, speaking at the Southwestern Rail Conference in Hurst, highlighted the project’s alignment with key criteria: connecting major urban centers, favorable terrain, and limited travel alternatives such as congested highways and airports. The proposed bullet train is expected to cut travel time between Dallas and Houston from more than three hours to just 90 minutes, modeled after Japan’s efficient Shinkansen system.

Amtrak’s collaboration with Texas Central Partners and the recent $500,000 grant for planning are significant steps forward, backed by support from the U.S. Department of Transportation and Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. Byford noted the enthusiastic support of Secretary Buttigieg and President Biden, reflecting broad interest in the effort.

“I did have a meeting with Secretary Buttigieg, the Secretary of Transportation, and he said he himself is very committed to the project, that the president himself is very committed to the project,” Byford said.

Last week, Biden hosted a state dinner with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, where the two leaders discussed a range of issues, including transportation and Japanese investment in U.S. infrastructure.

While progress is evident, challenges remain, including a coalition of landowners who said the train’s route would affect their property.

“People forget, we’ve got thousands of landowners along the route. This has now been hanging over their head for ten years. Once that line goes on a map, you’re hosed,” Texans Against High-Speed Rail president Trey Duhon told NBC 5.

Despite the hurdles, Byford believes the time is right for high-speed rail in the U.S., with support from key stakeholders and a strategic vision for improving transportation options in the region.

If the project is successful, the train could be a reality by the early 2030s.

Staff
Staff
Written by RA News staff.

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