Texas Bullet Train Clears Environmental Hurdle
Plans for the high-speed “bullet train” between Dallas and Houston are currently in progress. Although both cities have finally reached agreement on the creation of the train, several other milestones have to be reached. According to the Dallas Business Journal, the bullet train project recently cleared its environmental hurdle.
Approval by the U.S. Department of Transportation was a significant step in the project. The Department’s Federal Railroad Administration recently signed the Draft Environmental Impact Statement review.
With that environmental impact review approved, the Texas Central Partners LLC project can proceed. The electrified rail will span 240 miles between Dallas and Houston. Travelers will be able to get from one city to the other in about 90 minutes, less than half the time it takes to drive the route.
The bullet train will travel at a speed of 205 miles per hour. Although the previously had high-speed trains for travel between cities, the last one ceased operation in 2006.
The next stage of the process is a public comment period for the draft of the Environmental Impact Statement. Public comments will be accepted for 60 days beginning when the draft statement is published in the Federal Register. Comments will be addressed in the final draft. A total of 10 public hearings will be held in the counties along the train’s route.
The train will begin in Dallas in the Cedars neighborhood, near the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. It will follow existing electrical infrastructure on land that is capable of supporting the train.
There will be an intermediate stop in Grimes County near Texas 90 and State Highway 30. This stop would serve Bryan-College Station and provide access to Texas A&M University.
The bullet train project still faces many hurdles but it has already overcome several potential legal challenges. If all continues to go well, construction could begin by late 2018 or early 2019.