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-   -   Texas On "Fast Track" To High Speed Rail (http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=210544)

urbanactivist Apr 3, 2014 1:45 PM

Texas On "Fast Track" To High Speed Rail
 
Surprised that no one has posted about this yet. It's big news in the Lone Star State. Via my blog Texas Leftist...

Quote:

There may be some exciting times ahead for the Lone Star State, especially for those living in Houston or D/FW. From the Texas Tribune...


The mayors of Houston, Dallas and Fort Worth announced Thursday their unified support for the construction of a privately funded bullet train between the two metropolitan regions.

“If successful, Houstonians will have a reliable, private alternative that will help alleviate traffic congestion and drastically reduce travel times,” Houston Mayor Annise Parker said at a press conference at Houston City Hall.

Texas Central Railway announced in 2012 its plans to build a 200 mph rail line that would transport passengers between Dallas and Houston within 90 minutes. The company has said it will not require any public subsidies to fund the multi-billion dollar project, which it is developing in partnership with a Japanese firm, Central Japan Railway.

The mayors praised the project and predicted it would aid the state economically and environmentally by reducing the number of people traveling by car.

“Not only will high-speed rail significantly reduce travel times and traffic congestion for Dallas and Houston area residents, but it will also create new, high-paying jobs and stimulate economic growth,” Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said.


Earlier this week I was privileged to meet with the team behind this project, known as Texas Central Railway. Sitting down with TCR President and Former Harris County Judge Robert Eckels, David Benzion and David Hagy, I was able to hear first-hand just how close the TCR is to becoming a reality. Unlike prospects in California or on the East Coast, TCR believes that that a privately-funded High-Speed rail network can be operational before anywhere else in the country.

electricron Apr 3, 2014 2:38 PM

I believe it had been before, but if the thread isn't kept active it gets removed after approximately 4 months. Look at the oldest threads in this forum, you'll find I'm onto something.

It be easier to get excited after the environmental reviews are completed and financing has been found. Texas has been down this road before to see privately financed HSR wither away into nothing......

guesswho Apr 3, 2014 2:54 PM

Yea, good idea Texas, but if I take this train from Dallas to Houston, and I get off in downtown Houston or wherever the terminus is...how the heck do I get to the Galleria/Tanglewood, Sugar Land, Galveston, Memorial Park, The Woodlands, even River Oaks/Montrose without having to transfer from one station to another and then take a multi-stop bus ride, as the light rail goes to NONE of those destinations. And there aren't honestly that many cabs in Houston just driving around looking for pickups, you have to call ahead unless you're at the convention center/large hotel/downtown office tower.

I'll just drive the 3.5 hours, thanks, and honestly, so would everyone else I know in Dallas or Houston.

scalziand Apr 3, 2014 3:13 PM

If the new train service is established, then the cabbies would be idiots if there weren't some waiting at the train station when the trains come in.

Eightball Apr 3, 2014 3:19 PM

Exciting, but talk is cheap.

guesswho Apr 3, 2014 3:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by scalziand (Post 6524631)
If the new train service is established, then the cabbies would be idiots if there weren't some waiting at the train station when the trains come in.

Yea, that's a given, but my point was once I arrive at my destination outside of downtown Houston, then it's a joke using public transit getting back to downtown. 50 minutes on the bus from the Tanglewood/The Galleria back to downtown versus just 15 minutes driving in light traffic. No thanks.......that's why I'd rather just drive.

greywallsareboring Apr 3, 2014 3:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by guesswho (Post 6524605)
Yea, good idea Texas, but if I take this train from Dallas to Houston, and I get off in downtown Houston or wherever the terminus is...how the heck do I get to the Galleria/Tanglewood, Sugar Land, Galveston, Memorial Park, The Woodlands, even River Oaks/Montrose without having to transfer from one station to another and then take a multi-stop bus ride, as the light rail goes to NONE of those destinations. And there aren't honestly that many cabs in Houston just driving around looking for pickups, you have to call ahead unless you're at the convention center/large hotel/downtown office tower.

I'll just drive the 3.5 hours, thanks, and honestly, so would everyone else I know in Dallas or Houston.

Well, I have to travel between Dallas and Houston about 10 times a year and I would take the train for most of these trips (except the 1 time a year I have to go to Splendora). In Dallas I can go from Dart to wherever the train goes from. In Houston relatives from Sugar Land to Humble usually have to pick up somebody from Hobby for every get-together anyways, so they would just have to pick us up somewhere else. People will use it, at least most people I know, and my family is far from "leftist" Texans. Even if I prefer I-45 over I-35, I would still use a rail alternative to both in most situations.

guesswho Apr 3, 2014 3:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by greywallsareboring (Post 6524655)
Well, I have to travel between Dallas and Houston about 10 times a year and I would take the train for most of these trips (except the 1 time a year I have to go to Splendora). In Dallas I can go from Dart to wherever the train goes from. In Houston relatives from Sugar Land to Humble usually have to pick up somebody from Hobby for every get-together anyways, so they would just have to pick us up somewhere else. People will use it, at least most people I know, and my family is far from "leftist" Texans. Even if I prefer I-45 over I-35, I would still use a rail alternative to both in most situations.

That's great you have family/friends in Houston or Dallas, but not everybody does to pick them up and cart them around :yes:

electricron Apr 3, 2014 4:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by guesswho (Post 6524667)
That's great you have family/friends in Houston or Dallas, but not everybody does to pick them up and cart them around :yes:

Most travelers travel to visit relatives, on vacation, or for business. Business can easily place taxi fares on their expense accounts, relatives are always happy to pick you up, and hotels will find a way to get vacationers to their hotels. You will not be stranded in either downtown Dallas or Houston - there will be a way to get where you need to go. Per the studies, 50,000 people travel between Dallas and Houston daily today - I have never seen even one of them stranded.

urbanactivist Apr 3, 2014 5:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 6524576)
I believe it had been before, but if the thread isn't kept active it gets removed after approximately 4 months. Look at the oldest threads in this forum, you'll find I'm onto something.

It be easier to get excited after the environmental reviews are completed and financing has been found. Texas has been down this road before to see privately financed HSR wither away into nothing......

Having met with Eckels and his team personally, I think there's reason to be optimistic in this case, which is why I did a story about it, and undoubtedly why it was important enough for the Mayors of Dallas, Ft. Worth and Houston to have a joint press conference. They can't reveal anything officially, but the financing, to my understanding, is lined up already. The company from Japan has been trying to develop in the American market, and they've turned their eyes to Texas because the rail line is far cheaper to build here than in the other potential corridors.

electricron Apr 3, 2014 6:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by urbanactivist (Post 6524914)
Having met with Eckels and his team personally, I think there's reason to be optimistic in this case, which is why I did a story about it, and undoubtedly why it was important enough for the Mayors of Dallas, Ft. Worth and Houston to have a joint press conference. They can't reveal anything officially, but the financing, to my understanding, is lined up already. The company from Japan has been trying to develop in the American market, and they've turned their eyes to Texas because the rail line is far cheaper to build here than in the other potential corridors.

I'm not going to disagree, and I am excited about the prospects. Never-the-less, I'm waiting for deeds before getting really excited. As another posted before me, talk is cheap.

urbanactivist Apr 3, 2014 6:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 6524989)
I'm not going to disagree, and I am excited about the prospects. Never-the-less, I'm waiting for deeds before getting really excited. As another posted before me, talk is cheap.

ROFL thus why I used the phrase "reason to be optimistic". Posting on SSP is also cheap, which is why I did it. :rolleyes:

mfastx Apr 4, 2014 6:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by guesswho (Post 6524605)
Yea, good idea Texas, but if I take this train from Dallas to Houston, and I get off in downtown Houston or wherever the terminus is...how the heck do I get to the Galleria/Tanglewood, Sugar Land, Galveston, Memorial Park, The Woodlands, even River Oaks/Montrose without having to transfer from one station to another and then take a multi-stop bus ride, as the light rail goes to NONE of those destinations. And there aren't honestly that many cabs in Houston just driving around looking for pickups, you have to call ahead unless you're at the convention center/large hotel/downtown office tower.

I'll just drive the 3.5 hours, thanks, and honestly, so would everyone else I know in Dallas or Houston.

Same way people who fly get around to those areas. Take a taxi, rent a car, etc.

Perklol Apr 5, 2014 2:11 PM

Quote:

200 mph rail line that would transport passengers between Dallas and Houston within 90 minutes
Fantastic news. Hope this private investment works out. The benefits are just too good to pass by.

:5:

Jasonhouse Apr 5, 2014 2:32 PM

With the generally easy terrain, there's no reason they can't crank it up to 250mph/400kph, like the UK is doing with their HS2. That would whittle the trip to 72-75 minutes.

electricron Apr 5, 2014 3:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jasonhouse (Post 6527335)
With the generally easy terrain, there's no reason they can't crank it up to 250mph/400kph, like the UK is doing with their HS2. That would whittle the trip to 72-75 minutes.

While there have been trains tested at 400 km/h (250 mph), none have ever operated that fast with paying passengers aboard.

In 2008 China opened the "Wuhan – Guangzhou" high-speed line at 350 km/h (217 mph), the first line ever to operate at that speed. That is until July 2011, when the maximum speed was lowered to 300 km/h (186 mph), it was the fastest line in the world. There are many reasons why China lowered the maximum speed.

I don't think American would ever build or operate faster trains than China, even with Japanese equipment. So forget 250 mph max speeds, the best you should expect in daily operations is 186 mph. America is not going to crank the speeds higher than what has been achieved elsewhere.

That's why 90 minutes is their goal, not 75 minutes.

Innsertnamehere Apr 5, 2014 4:36 PM

doesn't some chinese city have an airport train that runs at something like 500km/h?

Busy Bee Apr 5, 2014 6:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Innsertnamehere (Post 6527460)
doesn't some chinese city have an airport train that runs at something like 500km/h?

That's the Shanghai maglev. Japan has been developing a maglev from Tokyo-Osaka that can travel up to 500kph.

electricron Apr 6, 2014 12:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 6527549)
That's the Shanghai maglev. Japan has been developing a maglev from Tokyo-Osaka that can travel up to 500kph.

Japan East is developing it, the same train company running the existing HSR train between.those two cities, and the same proposing to build this HSR line in Texas. Again, building a new HSR train inTexas with existing technology, not new technology. Every time new technology is introduced, more risk is introduced, lowering the possibility of finding private financing, decreasing the probability of it ever being built.

Using existing technology is the key to getting this train built.

toxteth o'grady Apr 8, 2014 3:46 PM

Someone at the Dallas Morning News is convinced this is happening. I think, however, they are overselling the private sector's ability to come up with the money.

For high-speed rail's future in Texas, the private sector dares to go where government won't


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