Texas High-Speed Train makes agreement with train system installation firm

Central Texas Partners released this map showing the likely route of a high-speed rail line between Dallas and Houston.

Graphic by Emily Albracht

On Nov. 21, Texas Central, developer of the Texas High-Speed Train, announced an agreement with a train system installation firm, Mass. Electric Construction Co., a subsidiary of Kiewit Corporation. Mass. Electric’s work focuses on installing the core system, critical safety elements which include all necessary power, signaling and communications equipment.

The Early Contract Involvement (ECI) agreement with Mass. Electric covers work through the end of 2019 to define the scope, execution plan, schedule and price for a construction contract, which is expected to be signed later this year. This agreement is the most recent milestone towards the construction phase of building the high-speed train, which is expected in 2020, according to a news release from Texas Central.

The core system that will be installed by Mass. Electric is a key component of the N700S Shinkansen technology being deployed for the Texas High-Speed Train.

“The Shinkansen total system approach has created performance unparalleled in the industry, having transported over 10 billion people safely,” said Carlos F. Aguilar, CEO, Texas Central. “Marrying the experience of Mass. Electric with the dedication to safety of an integrated system, brings the project one step closer to construction and operation.”

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Specifically, under a Core Systems Installation Agreement, Mass. Electric would install the systems that supply and distribute electrical power for running the train and related equipment, signaling and control of the trains, and communications, to ensure the trains, the tracks and operators all communicate with one another and with network operations.

“This project draws on our extensive experience in delivering high-quality rail systems safely and effectively,” said Mark Williams, project director at Mass. Electric. “We are excited to play a key role in the nation’s first high-speed train project.”

The Texas Central train is estimated to remove more than 14,630 cars per day from interstate 45, offsetting emissions in an area covering four counties that are in air quality nonattainment status, according to the Texas Central.

The project, besides offering seamless, safe and convenient travel between the nation’s fourth and fifth largest economies, will create an estimated 10,000 jobs each year of construction and 1,500 full-time jobs when operational, and generate a range of indirect economic benefits upon completion.

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The Texas Central new high-speed train will connect North Texas, the Brazos Valley and Houston with a 90-minute trip.

The company’s market-led approach is backed by investors, not government grants, a new business model for infrastructure advances, the release said.