Texas Central Railway has appointed a new CEO as the privately owned firm closes on $75 million in new capital – all from Texas-based investors – to fund ongoing development activities.
The firm, with Dallas and Houston offices, plans to construct and operate the state’s first high-speed passenger rail system between North Texas and Houston, a vision that also includes terminal stations and surrounding development.
Spearheading the plan will be Tim Keith of Dallas, appointed company CEO effective immediately, the firm announced on Wednesday July 22.
As CEO, Keith will oversee all aspects of the planned rail system’s finance, development, construction and eventual operations. Keith was selected from several candidates due to his nearly 25 years of financial and operational experience in large real estate and infrastructure projects, according to a company news release.
“He brings great leadership and insight to this already strong management team,” said John Kleinheinz of Fort Worth, founder of Kleinheinz Capital Partners and a board member with Texas Central Partners, a private, Texas-based company charged with developing the high-speed passenger railway and associated facilities. Texas Central Railway’s role is promoting the adoption of the rail system.
Praising the newly announced capital funding was Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price.
“Today’s news that investors from Fort Worth and across the state have joined the effort to connect North Texas to Houston by high-speed rail means that this bold vision is getting closer to reality each day,” Price said in a news release.
“I have been to Japan and witnessed firsthand the comfort and sophistication of high-speed rail and look forward to the day when Texans have the opportunity to travel conveniently and safely between our state’s wonderful cities,” Price said.
Keith formerly served as global CEO of RREEF/Deutsche Bank Infrastructure Investments, where he managed worldwide operations of the firm’s infrastructure funds management businesses. His 10 years with RREEF/Deutsche Bank, a New York-based global alternative asset management firm, included several senior executive positions. He went on to co-found HKS Capital Advisors, where he served as its chief investment officer. Keith also has served as an executive at Hunt Realty Investments, where he helped found, grow and sell Meridian Industrial Trust.
Texas Railway Express’ $12 billion North Texas-to-Houston rail line would be privately funded and overseen by Texas Central Railway. The project has faced legislative challenges and recent opposition by some residents living along the railway’s potential routes.