Houston Realty Business Coalition—High Speed Rail
April 20, 2017
President, Texas Central Partners
Below are the highlights from the HRBC breakfast and Bullet Train presentation:
1) Texas Central Partners, LLC, is a private company that is developing the high-speed rail line between Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston.
- The planned bullet train that would connect Houston and North Texas in less than 90 minutes.
- The approximately 240-mile high-speed rail line would schedule departures every 30 minutes during peak periods.
2) The project needs to clear a few obstacles before it can start construction:
- Environmental evaluations need to be completed; the Federal Railroad Administration must address new safety rules; and there are ongoing negotiations with the landowners regarding the potential route selections.
- The project is said to have held hundreds of public meetings and has acquired about 30% of the property it needs, with the likely route following power and utility corridors to minimize the impact on private property.
3) Construction of the Texas high-speed train system could begin in late 2018, pending in part on The Draft Environmental Impact Statement due out later this year. Once started, the project could be completed in five years, indicating that service could start as early as 2023.
4) Construction of the high-speed railroad is estimated to add $36 billion to the Texas economy over the next 25 years. Also, the project is expected to pay close to $2.5 billion in taxes during that same time.
5) Projections indicate that the project will create an average of 10,000 jobs each year over the project’s 4-year construction period. Once completed, 1,000 full-time jobs will be created to support the railroad’s ongoing operations.
6) Pricing has not been announced, but tickets would be sold on a demand-based model comparable to that used by airlines, fluctuating by date and time. Estimates have tickets costing less than a $500 business class round-trip airfare but more than the estimated cost of driving the same route.
7) Asked how long the train would have to run to hit the break-even point, the answer was about ten years.