Central Japan Railway announces Dallas operation to support high-speed rail line

Central Japan Railway Co. plans to establish a fully owned Dallas subsidiary to support a high-speed rail project from Dallas to Houston, according to a Wednesday news release.

Staffing the Dallas operation will be about 20 technical and operations officials, who will work with Texas Central Partners, the private firm backed by private investors planning to build and manage the rail line.

Texas Central plans to purchase equipment from a consortium of equipment manufacturers, with Japan Railway serving as Texas Central’s technology advisor during the completion of the high-speed rail project, according to the news release.

According to Texas Central, the project is expected to create 40,000 jobs for Texans during construction. When operational, the project is expected to employ about 1,000 people.

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Texas Central Partners said it plans to begin construction in late 2017. The project is scheduled for completion in 2021, with the first full year of operations in 2022.

“The Dallas Regional Chamber is thrilled that the Central Japan Railway Co. subsidiary will open its U.S. office in Dallas to provide technical support and critical knowledge transfer on transportation issues as Texas Central Partners continues to work on this important project,” said Dale Petroskey, president and CEO of the Dallas Regional Chamber, commenting in a news release.

Echoing that sentiment was Texas Central Partners.

“The Shinkansen high-speed rail operated by Central Japan Railway has five decades of experience and a perfect safety record, which is a major reason JRC was chosen as the technology partner by Texas Central,” said Tim Keith, CEO of Texas Central Partners.

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“Having this office in Dallas will help ensure that the project will meet all milestones, partnering with Texans in a transformational project for our nation, our state and the region,” Keith said.

Almost 50,000 Texans travel between the Dallas Region and Houston more than once per week, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. The high-speed train would connect the state’s two largest metro areas, which have a combined population of 14 million, in less than 90 minutes with a mid-way stop serving the Brazos Valley.

In April 2016, Gov. Greg Abbott signed a memorandum of understanding with Hideaki Ohmura, governor of the Aichi prefecture in Japan, which expressed the shared desire improve ties between Texas and Aichi and to cooperate in areas such as economic exchange, culture, academic endeavors and workforce development.

Officials with Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport plan to lead a business mission trip to Japan in November that will include Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, as well as members from the DRC, the Fort Worth Chamber, the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau.

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More information on the Japan Railway Central Co. is available at http://english.jr-central.co.jp/, with information on the Texas project at www.texascentral.com.