Design, construction firms announced for proposed Texas bullet train

DALLAS - Texas Central Partners on Monday announced the design construction firms that will lead a high-speed rail project that would connect Dallas and Houston.

Irving-based Fluor Corporation, a Fortune 500 engineering and construction firm, and Lane Construction are set to design and build the railway that would connect Texas’ two largest metro areas with a bullet train.

“The ramp up on the design and engineering reflects continued progress for the high-speed train,” Texas Central CEO Carlos Aguilar said in a statement posted to the company's website. "This is a major milestone for a project that links two of the nation’s largest commercial hubs and gives Texans a safe and reliable alternative over congested highway and air travel.”

There is no schedule for the proposed high-speed railway -- Tarrant Regional Transportation Council chairman Bill Meadows estimated in May that it would be “early 2020s at the earliest” -- but the idea has been in the works for years.

The proposed 240-mile railway would take passengers from Dallas to Houston and back in less than 90 minutes each way, on a train traveling 205 mph.

“Fluor will support Texas Central during the preliminary development,” it said in a press release, “and potentially further phases of development.”

Lane Construction has been dubbed “the preferred design-builder of the project once the development phase and financial close are complete.” The company notes in a release that its Italian parent company has “substantial experience in high-speed trains.”

A primary roadblock for Texas Central’s project, which promises to be entirely privately funded, is eminent domain. Supporters and opponents of the project have argued over whether the company has that right to force landowners to sell it the land it needs to complete the project.

Texans Against High-Speed Rail is a group formed in 2015 specifically to oppose the bullet train.

However, mayors in Houston, Dallas and Fort Worth -- Meadows is leading the charge to extend the high-speed rail to Fort Worth -- have supported the project.

Contributing: Texas Tribune

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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