DALLAS – The Trump administration listed the Texas bullet train and DART’s Cotton Belt Line as two of its top 50 priorities, according to a report Tuesday afternoon.
“President Trump’s increased attention on the nation’s infrastructure rightly signals that more can be done, in both the public and private investment sectors. The Texas project is pleased to be considered among the nation’s infrastructure priorities,” said Texas Central, the company building the bullet train, in a statement Tuesday evening.
The bullet train is listed thirteenth in a number of nationwide projects totaling at least $137.5 billion which the Trump administration is prioritizing, according to a story in the Star-Telegram.
The priority list which was “circulated within the congressional and business communities offer a first glimpse at which projects around the country might get funding if Trump follows through on his campaign promise to renew America’s crumbling highways, airports, dams and bridges,” the Star-Telegram reported.
The Texas bullet train is a privately funded $12-billion-dollar project that is said to create 40,000 direct jobs.
The actual high speed trains, similar to Japan’s Shinkansen, will connect Dallas to Houston on their own tracks; making the 240-mile trip in less than 90-minutes.
Real estate acquisition is underway right now.
The backing from Trump is a welcome political boost for Texas Central. Republican state leaders have always had tepid support for the privately funded project out of concern for landowners and private property rights.
Texas Central says it’s trying to use existing public rights of way to minimize impacts on private property.
“Texas’ high-speed train is a project being led by free-market principles that will create jobs and economic opportunities. It is a unique business model that will not take federal or state grants to build or operate the North Texas-to-Houston passenger line,” the railroad’s statement continued. “We look forward to working with the new administration, moving ahead with the project’s free-market approach.”
The only other Texas project listed by the Trump administration is the “Cotton Belt Line.” It’s a 67-mile commuter rail project which Dallas Area Rapid Transit is planning to connect McKinney to DFW Airport. It’s supposed to cost at least a billion dollars and create 2,000 direct jobs. DART is trying to get federal funding