Table 4: Summary of Cost Estimates (Excluding Right of Way)
Improvement Type: 79 mph design speed 110 mph design speed
Curves: $248,210,000 $1,635,300,000
Signals: $16,200,000 $16,200,000
Sidings: $40,096,000 $40,096,000
Total Cost (w/o ROW): $304,506,000 $1,691,596,000
*110 mph improvements include new mainline track with 50' separation from existing freight tracks as required by UPRR passenger rail operating principles for passenger rail speeds greater than 90 mph.
The Amtrak scheduled and theoretical trip times are listed below for the existing conditions as well as the two scenarios for increased speeds.
° Existing (Amtrak): Approx. 7.5 hours
° Existing (theoretical): Approximately 6 hours 20 minutes
° With 79 mph infrastructure improvements: nearly 5 hours 15 minutes
(approximate time savings of 1 hour 10 minutes)
° With 110 mph infrastructure improvements: approximately 4 hours 40 minutes (approximate time savings of 1 hour 45 minutes, an additional 35 minutes savings over 79 mph).
The analysis of theoretical trip times as compared to the estimated costs of improvements associated with the trip time reductions indicates that the substantial increase in cost required for 110 mph passenger operations is not justified by the additional time savings of only 35 minutes. The significant increase in cost for 110 mph improvements is due to the requirement of UP for a fully separated rail line for passenger rail operations at speeds above 90 mph.
If TXDOT considers the costs to implement 110 mph too high for Texas Eagle tracks east of Fort Worth
, you know they'll have the same opinion for UP tracks south of Temple, and for all of the Sunset Limited tracks.
Does anyone know what are BNSF's passenger rail operating principles for passenger rail speeds greater than 90 mph?
If it is the same as the UP, it looks like Texas "Higher" Speed Rail speeds may max out at 90 mph.