A long-in-the-works plan to link Houston and Dallas with high-speed rail is making steady progress as backers for the project announce that they could be one year away from breaking ground.
Earlier this year, Archinect reported that Texas CentralTexas Central, the group advocating for and developing the planned train route, had signed a deal with Italian construction giant Salini Impreglio and its American subsidiary Lane Construction to design and construct the train line.
This month, Dallas News reports that Texas Central has submitted environmental and safety documentation to the federal government with the aim of having approvals to start construction by the summer of 2020.
Holly Reed, Texas Central’s managing director of external affairs, tells Dallas News, “We’ve had our heads down working on this for a long time ... The conversation has shifted from, ‘Is this really going to happen?’ to ‘When can I ride it?’”
As it has crafted its plan for the train line, Texas Central has consulted with the developers behind Saudi Arabia's Haramain High Speed Railway in an effort to understand the impact of extreme heat and sun on the transit system's trains and infrastructure. In addition, the group has announced that they will be using the latest generation of N700S Shinkansen trains from Japan, all-electric locomotives that will be adapted to the local climates of Dallas and Houston for optimized performance.
The group has also recently made public a slew of other project partners, including Citi and MUFG on the financial side, Spanish train operator Renfe, and Resource Environmental Solutions (RES) as ecological mitigation partner for the project.
The group aims to have the train in operation by 2026.