Texans have eagerly anticipated the long-awaited high-speed train line that would link up North Texas with southern parts of the state. For those of you that thought it was fake news, the Texas Central Railway has released mockups of the train, the station and the exterior. The train stations will most likely be located in Houston and Dallas, with a stop in Brazos Valley. Saying it will make life a whole lot easier for thousands of people is an understatement. If necessary approvals are received from the Federal Railroad Administration, it's expected to be fully operational in 2026 and we seriously can't wait to see this high-speed rail project in person.
The train was inspired by the Shinkansen bullet trains of Japan, and boy will this rail system move fast. The drive from Dallas/Fort Worth to Houston is typically 4.5 hours and could be more depending on how bad the traffic is. If the Houston Rodeo or a Cowboys game is going on...good luck with that. The train ride will cover that distance in an astonishing 90 minutes, reaching over 200 miles per hour. For those traveling between the two cities, this high-speed rail line will be a welcome alternate route from having to travel via airplane or car.
If you like sitting in recycled air, then, by all means, continue flying. But this train will be modeled similarly to an airplane with more legroom, bigger windows, no seat belts, and the best part? You get to KEEP your phones while taking advantage of the free WiFi. Hate the tight aisles on planes? Well, the trains will have aisles so wide that wheelchairs will be able to use them without difficulty.
This helpful diagram shows just how much room you'll get sitting on the train. For those who hate middle seats, you don't have to worry about it because the rows will only be chairs of two. The general design goal was to give first-class level comfort to everyone on the train, and based on the mockups, it looks like that's exactly what you'll get.
According to the Texas Central website, over 100,000 travelers commute between Dallas and Houston at least once per week, so this train project would change a lot of lives and significantly cut the time spent on the road. Texas Central is currently waiting on certain federal approvals from the Federal Railroad Administration, which are anticipated to come through this year. Once that is finalized, they can start construction on the Texas high-speed rail by next year.
This $20 billion project first started back in 2014, so it's exciting to see the progress so far. So far, Texas Central has been able to work with landowners along the route's alignment as it prepares for construction. The final train is expected to have seats for 400 and will bring in an estimated 10,000 direct jobs per year during peak construction and 1,500 permanent jobs, which will be fantastic for the Texas economy. Holly Reed, the managing director of external affairs for Texas Central Partners, writes that the project was exciting news for Texans.
"Texans are demanding this project -- 80 percent of those surveyed across the service area said they want to ride the 200-mph bullet train. It would also welcome the United States to the global community investing in the value proposition of high-speed train projects, after decades of watching successful projects connect cities and stimulate economies across Europe and Asia."