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Thread: NBR: Dallas --> Houston bullet train

  1. #1
    cmc
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    NBR: Dallas --> Houston bullet train

    I think it would be cool. The only high speed train I've been on is the TGV in France, which was rad.

    https://www.texastribune.org/2017/12...uare-its-path/

    Some Texans dodge bullet train, others are square in its path

    Federal officials identified the likely route a planned Dallas-Houston bullet train will take through rural counties as it connects the state's two largest urban areas.


    HOUSTON – Federal officials narrowed the possible paths for a Dallas-Houston bullet train down to one likely route Friday, providing an unknown number of rural Texans the most definitive answer so far as to whether their land will be in the path of the controversial project.

    Much of the planned route had already been largely solidified. But documents released Friday by the Federal Railroad Administration filled in the rest of the gaps, favoring a more westerly route that runs through Navarro, Freestone, Leon, Madison and Limestone counties. Another potential route that was dropped from consideration would have avoided Limestone County.

    Countless landowners in the rural counties between Houston and Dallas had been waiting to see where the line will likely go as it moves through their areas.

    The potential route identified Friday was part of an draft environmental statement that details impacts of the project in particular areas. Texas Central Partners, the private company developing the project, will now present the draft publicly and allow Texans to weigh in on the proposed path. That is expected to happen next year.

    "We will respectfully follow this public consultation process to ensure legitimate concerns from all stakeholders are addressed," Texas Central CEO Carlos Aguilar said in a statement Friday.

    The release of the draft Friday marked a major step toward getting federal clearance for the project. While it provides a clearer picture of the expected route, the path could slightly change in some areas as development and federal oversight continues.

    The study also provided new details about stations planned in Grimes County and Houston. The Grimes County station is planned for State Highway 30 between Huntsville and College Station. There are three potential Houston station locations: land where Northwest Mall currently sits, an industrial area across from that shopping center and an industrial area closer to the nearby Northwest Transit Center.

    The planned Dallas station remains just south of downtown.

    Texas Central promises to run high-speed trains that would travel up to 205 mph as they carry people between the state's two biggest urban areas in 90 minutes. The high-speed rail project will require the developer to buy up thousands of properties across the state.

    Even though Texas Central leaders have long said they hope to work out voluntary land deals with all landowners along the line, much of the opposition to the project centers on the private company’s claim that it has the legal authority to condemn private property if needed.

    Many officials and landowners disagree with those claims and have pushed local ordinances aimed at stopping the project. But urban business and elected officials have cheered the project, which they say will transform how people travel between the two regions.

    Texas Central plans to finance the project, expected to cost more than $12 billion, with private investments and possibly federal loans. But the company has long said it will not use any state funds.

    Ben Leman, chairman of opposition group Texans Against High-Speed Rail, did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment late Friday. Leman resigned as Grimes County judge this month so he could run for the open Texas House District 13 seat being vacated by fellow Republican Leighton Schubert.

    Lawmakers in the past two legislative sessions filed several bills aimed at killing or hampering the project. The bullet train survived both largely unscathed. But opponents, like Leman, say legal questions remain over whether the company can use eminent domain.

    The libertarian Reason Foundation predicted earlier this year that Texas Central’s project would not be financially viable and would leave taxpayers on the hook for billions of dollars.

    But Texas Central says it has spent millions on research that shows there is enough demand for the project to succeed. It has also released a study that showed the project would increase tax revenues for several cities, counties and school districts.

    “The real work is just beginning,” Texas Central President Tim Keith said Friday.

  2. #2
    MoJo Mother Superior Tree magnet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmc View Post
    Texas Central plans to finance the project, expected to cost more than $12 billion, with private investments and possibly federal loans. But the company has long said it will not use any state funds.
    I find this hard to believe. Based on how much a single mile of 10' wide concrete trail costs, $12 billion seems way too low.

    I like the the idea of bullet trains but I don't know if they would work for the way things are structured around here. If they could just improve the airport and flying experience, you can fly to Dallas from Houston in less than an hour for $200. If I LIVED in Houston and had to commute to Dallas, I guess a train would make sense but that is only thing that makes sense in that scenario.

  3. #3
    Shop Owner/Frame Builder CBaron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tree magnet View Post
    I find this hard to believe. Based on how much a single mile of 10' wide concrete trail costs, $12 billion seems way too low.

    I like the the idea of bullet trains but I don't know if they would work for the way things are structured around here. If they could just improve the airport and flying experience, you can fly to Dallas from Houston in less than an hour for $200. If I LIVED in Houston and had to commute to Dallas, I guess a train would make sense but that is only thing that makes sense in that scenario.

    After having spent half a year living in Europe (during college), I too love the idea of (Bullet?) trains connecting major TX cities. However, part of the problem as I see it, is that once you arrive in your destination town, inner city transit is poor, if not extremely inefficient to use.

    I also recall this being something that has come up from time to time. I wonder whats new and different this time?

    later
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    Mojo Prickly Tire brianjo's Avatar
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    Are there REALLY that many people that would commute from Dallas to Houston daily /weekly? Just asking cause I really don't have any clue. Seems it would have to be a fairly regular thing for this to be even remotely justifiable. And I agree with Cody, once you are there, then what. It's not like Europe or Asia where the urban infrastructure is already centered around easy foot travel.

  5. #5
    cmc
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianjo View Post
    Are there REALLY that many people that would commute from Dallas to Houston daily /weekly? Just asking cause I really don't have any clue. Seems it would have to be a fairly regular thing for this to be even remotely justifiable. And I agree with Cody, once you are there, then what. It's not like Europe or Asia where the urban infrastructure is already centered around easy foot travel.
    Yeah, I agree--I used to think the only people who commuted Houston-Dallas were in the airport at 6am.... but apparently a ton of people drive it too.

    This says: "In 2009, almost 52,000 residents of Dallas Fort Worth worked in Houston, the busiest long-distance commute in the country." And plenty others come here from distant homes, too. Of the top five super-commutes among major U.S. cities, Dallas figures as a destination for two, drawing 44,300 workers from Houston each day and 32,400 from Austin. Commuters like those coming from Houston and Austin helped make Dallas County tied for the highest percent of workers coming from distant homes in the country, 13.2 percent. The other top destination was Harris County. In all, according to 2009 figures, some 176,000 workers in Dallas County commute from from homes that are outside of the Dallas Fort Worth metropolitan area, according to the study.

    https://www.dallasnews.com/news/tran...eading-the-way

    I don't know if there would be a stop half way between Dallas and Houston. If there was . . . a lot of people could get great deals on real estate and commute to the cities... You can get some beautiful houses in small Texas towns. Check out this in Palestine TX. https://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sal...39_rect/14_zm/
    Last edited by cmc; 12-22-2017 at 12:22 PM.

  6. #6
    MoJo Mother Superior Tree magnet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmc View Post
    apparently a ton of people drive it too....almost 52,000 residents of Dallas Fort Worth worked in Houston, the busiest long-distance commute in the country."
    I don't doubt the statistics but this is unsustainable. We're trying to build energy efficient vehicles and curb global warming blah blah blah and we have people commuting HUNDREDs of miles a week? Don't get me wrong, I hate Houston and wouldn't want to live there. However, does Dallas really have that crappy of a job market that you'd do that commute on a regular basis? I'm not thinking that these are low paying jobs that justify that level of commitment. All that time wasted sitting on I-45. Crazy.
    Last edited by Tree magnet; 12-22-2017 at 12:28 PM.
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    Live Medium Bamwa's Avatar
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    Greyhound. $20 each way. And think of all the singing you can get in....kumbaya......the wheels on the bus....etc.
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    MoJo Mother Superior notyal's Avatar
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    It will be the best way to get from Texas's armpit to its anus.
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    MoJo Mother Superior olddbrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by notyal View Post
    It will be the best way to get from Texas's armpit to its anus.
    Which is which?
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    Shop Owner/Frame Builder CBaron's Avatar
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    Here's another thing (now that I've read the OP article). While I love the idea of a bullet train....I HATE the idea of imminent domain'ing all these family properties! I can't imagine owning land that may have been in my family for generations and then being told 'its gone, and there's nothing I can do about it'. Really REALLY do not like that.

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  11. #11
    prodigal son of Austin Teamsloan's Avatar
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    I thought we were getting a Hyperloop that connects San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, and Houston together? That will make the bullet train instantly obsolete! 20min from here to Dallas sounds much better to me. And the Hyperloop also avoids obliterating family properties (other than the few supporting structures of the tube).

    *note, While the Hyperloop is really an interesting concept, I'm not holding my breath.
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    MoJo Mother Superior crazyt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CBaron View Post
    After having spent half a year living in Europe (during college), I too love the idea of (Bullet?) trains connecting major TX cities. However, part of the problem as I see it, is that once you arrive in your destination town, inner city transit is poor, if not extremely inefficient to use.

    I also recall this being something that has come up from time to time. I wonder whats new and different this time?

    later
    CJB
    The last mile has pretty much been solved by rideshares. For example taxpayers pay about $10 every time someone takes the metrorail. That is pretty much the cost of a ride share ride in the inner core of austin. The city could just create a public transport network out of rideshares departing or going to the stations. If the cost of the rail could be in the $50-$70 round trip range + rideshares, then it will be fine.
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  13. #13
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    It would be cool if it stopped in or near Waco/Cameron Park.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TAF View Post
    It would be cool if it stopped in or near Waco/Cameron Park.
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    Mojo Riposte June Bug's Avatar
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    Awesome bike accommodation!

    I hate the lack of bike accommodation on MetroRail. Before I retired, I'd bike to work and take MetroRail home. I finally had to adjust work hours and take either the 4 pm north bound or work late and take the 6 pm train, which was still crowded. At 4:30 pm, 5 pm and 5:30 pm five or six cyclists were crammed in the foyer with their bikes, where everyone gets on and off the train. Horrible design. There were always people, who for reasons known only to them, simply refused to stand in the aisles when all seats were taken, which added to the congestion in the foyer area, making things unworkable.

    And yeah, I never rode my bike home. Tapped out by the end of the day and not up for an hour+ bike commute in the heat, the cold, the dark, jostling with tired grumpy drivers.
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