Texas Scores Money For High Speed Rail

Texas has secured $15 million dollars in federal funds for the development of a proposed high-speed rail line from Houston to Dallas. The Texas Department of Transportation applied for a portion of the grant money last month. Wendy Siegle reports.

The US Department of Transportation has awarded $2 billion dollars in grants for 22 rail projects across 15 states. Texas’ $15 million dollar slice will pay for environmental and engineering studies of a possible line between Dallas and Houston.

The corridor is identified as one of the most viable routes in the Texas Rail Plan.

Bill Glavin is the director of the Texas Department of Transportation’s rail division.

“We were gratified that the FRA has recognized the progress that we’ve made here in the state of Texas over the past year, year and a half as the high speed program has been revealed across the country or developed across the country.”

He says Texas has made a lot of headway in developing a “unified vision” of what its passenger rail network should look like. Texas has routinely missed out on high speed rail money in the past, snagging only tiny portions of the overall pot of grants. Glavin says being able to secure a bigger chunk of the money this time is a good sign Texas is on the right track.

“It means that we’re making progress in getting able to get one step closer to being able to implement high speed rail in the state of Texas.”

But Glavin cautions that there’s still a long road ahead. After all, it could be more than a decade before passengers will be able to board a train in Houston and travel to Dallas at 150 mph.

Texas’ winnings are dwarfed by California’s share of the grant money. The Golden State scored $300 million dollars for what many consider a more polished high speed rail plan.

 

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