The mayors of Fort Worth, Dallas and Houston today announced their support for a high-speed rail route between Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth. The announcement marks the first time that the cities of Houston, Dallas and Fort Worth have come together to announce their support for the project.
“Thanks to the leadership of our friends at Texas Central Railway, my fellow mayors, and our state and federal partners, we have a remarkable opportunity to change the way we travel and connect our cities,” Price said in a statement released today. “We’re excited about this concept, and we look forward to working closely with our partners to make it a reality for our citizens and businesses.”
Privately owned Texas Central Railway, with offices in Houston, and Central Japan Railway Co., are studying a Dallas-to-Houston route. Transportation officials closer to Fort Worth have been focusing on how to bring Fort Worth and Arlington into the mix. “Building in the urban core will cost more than between cities,” said Steve Mattingly, a University of Texas at Arlington civil engineer who conducted a feasibility study for bringing bullet trains into Dallas-Fort Worth when speaking to the Fort Worth Business Press earlier this year. The study, conducted between September 2011 and August 2013, found that constructing track between “pair cities” such as Dallas and Houston would require less funding than laying track within more congested urban areas such as the stretch between Fort Worth and Dallas.
“That’s why the primary focus has been getting to downtown Dallas but not Fort Worth or Arlington at this point,” Mattingly said. The two plans are being handled separately, with privately owned Texas Central Railway overseeing the Dallas-to-Houston vision and the Texas Department of Transportation and North Central Texas Council of Governments, as well as Price, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck, championing a rail route linking their respective communities. As Texas Central Railway continues its work on the privately funded high-speed rail route between Houston and Dallas, an effort has also been set in motion to extend high-speed rail service from Dallas through Arlington and into Fort Worth. The Texas Transportation Commission appointed members of the North Texas High Speed Rail Commission to find innovative ways to build a high-speed rail system between Fort Worth, Arlington and Dallas.