Possible Station Locations for Houston-to-Dallas High-Speed Rail: Jersey Village, Mangum Manor, Downtown?

Possible Locations for Houston Bullet Train Stations, Texas

The company planning to build a bullet-train linkup between Dallas and Houston today identified its preferred route for the hour-and-a-half journey. The alignment, which the Texas Central Railway calls the Utility Corridor because it makes use electrical utility right-of-ways in Harris, Waller, and nearby counties, roughly follows south of Hwy. 290 once it enters Harris County, along the BNSF tracks parallel to Hempstead Rd. It would head into Downtown along the Union Pacific tracks paralleling Washington Ave. In the map above, the route is shown in gold (the line in red shows the second-choice route, along a different BNSF right-of-way).


The organization also included a series of images noting possible locations of both Houston-area and College Station-area stations for the privately funded railway. Noted as points of station interest on the map (above) are a spot just south of Jersey Village, the intersection of Hwy. 290 and the West Loop near Mangum Manor, and Downtown. The company also notes that it will “recommend inclusion of an alternative involving the I-10 corridor as a potential approach to downtown Houston.”

Possible Location for College Station Area Bullet Train Station, Texas

The section being considered for what the company calls an “intermediate” station is 23 miles east of College Station. Here’s an overall map of the 2 routes, with the preferred path shown in gold:

Texas Central Railway Preferred Routes Between Dallas and Houston

Though a cast of Texas and Washington politicos headlines the railway company’s staff — including former Harris County judge Robert Eckels and former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk — funding for the estimated $10 billion project would come primarily from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation.

Maps: Texas Central Railway

Bullet Stops

42 Comment

  • Im sure no one on Swamplot will be opinionated about this.

  • I expect nothing but a reasonable and rational discussion about these options.

  • no way this ever gets built. fun to talk about though.

  • So the “Bryan/College Station” stop would be in Shiro, TX. Biggest thing to hit that town in years!

    I’m interested to see the plan along I-10 inside the loop. There’s room to work with there.

  • Have all these stops been planned from the beginning? That’s 3 stops from CS south to Houston. Are there another 3 between CS and Dallas? A six stop “high speed train”? Don’t think so! Slowdown / acceleration time, and time spent at the station, will have a considerable impact on overall travel time.

    Assuming everything else about the routing is perfect (ha!), this thing should stop at the 290/610 transit center. Just do one of the toy trains from downtown to the transit center.

  • IMO for this to be worth doing, it should connect downtown to downtown. Not random suburb to random suburb.

  • The yellow line would be excellent. It appears to follow an existing rail track.

    Aggies can get off pretty close to campus and Uber their way to class.

    Also, would the station be near the NW mall? That’s a great location that the owners are trying to sell anyway.

  • It needs to run through the Heights while being child-friendly and historically accurate, with parking behind the station, not by the street.

  • I tend to think that if Houston were to have a more developed public transit system at this point, there wouldn’t be the contention that surrounds both of these routes as they go through neighborhoods here in Houston. It’d be much easier to put a train station in the suburbs if there was a frequent, higher speed transit option to Downtown Houston or other major activity centers.

    I honestly don’t know what the appeal would be having stations in the suburbs though, or away from major districts. If I want to go to Dallas to see some NHL hockey (I’m a Detroit native), I don’t want to have to drive from a station in the suburbs into Downtown Dallas. At least give an out-of-towner the ability to be free from driving a car on a visit, so making sure it has a connection to METRO or DART would be important to me. I’d imagine this is the same for anyone wanting to visit Houston. If It’s not coming into Downtown Houston, I don’t think it should even be built.

  • umm… I know it’s not swampmap but I think that’s east of College Station.

  • I’m surprised the Union Pacific tracks along the Washington corridor is their favored choice. that’s such a crowded area these days, achieving grade separation would seem to be difficult there. Coming in south of Oak Forest would seem to have a bit more ROW to play with.

  • In my not so humble opinion this is just pure vaporware, akin to the fake Disneyland story and that Jurassic theme park. This will not happen in our lifetimes because of unsurmountable financial and political obstacles. At best they’re trying to gauge public opinion and investor interest, at worst they’re just trying to rip off potential investors “Producers” style.

  • I will eat my loafers if this thing gets even remotely close to getting financed, let alone built, unless they get some serious cheese from the government.

  • Run the bullet train to the existing or new Northwest transit center.

    Build light rail along either Katy Rd or Hempstead Rd to connect to Washington Ave. Run new light rail along Washington Ave. to meet up with the furthest north portion of South East/East End lines.

    Build Uptown light rail line along approved route to Northwest Transit Center, not the dedicated bus lanes.

    Running the bullet train to the Northwest Transit center would:
    1. Hook up to METRO’s proposed light rail network, increasing the need for its expansion
    2. Allow those from multiple activity centers to utilize the train, not necessarily favoring one over the other
    3. Provide an advantage over Hobby and Bush because of possible light rail connections, maybe pressuring airport to chip in for light rail expansion
    4. Minimize the number of urban dwellings the train has to whiz by, maximize the number of happy people

    I’m sure there are more positive reasons, but these are some key ones. Wherever the final Houston destination is placed, thought needs to be put into how it will fit in the existing transportation network and overall community.

  • Swamplot said “The section being considered for what the company calls an intermediate station is 23 miles west of College Station. ”
    Uh, maybe you meant to say EAST? That map shows no routes west of College Station.

  • East of college station, not west.

  • NaGaHa (Not Gonna Happen)

  • Wow I’m blown away by this! Two high-speed bullet trains to Dallas it is then!

  • @Swamplot I believe the College Station station will be 23 miles EAST of CS.
    From a business standpoint, the College Station station (yes, I like saying that in my head), doesn’t add up as there will absolutely be a need for a car/taxi since it isn’t downtown. Also, I don’t see the ridership supporting the cost. And from a scheduling perspective, I’d imagine every other train would stop there so there is still 90 minute rides instead of 150 minutes rides (slow down, boarding and speed up for the extra 60 minutes).

  • Hook up to Light Rail, anyone? anyone?

  • Cue “Stupid Shepard Bullet Train” as a facebook login.

  • I see the Mass-Transpo-Terrorists have struck again! Trying to build their Hipster-Laden train to permeate their eclectic music and fashion tastes throughout the State of Texas. Why dont they join the capitalist world and drive on the Non-Communist Interstate-45, which was built magically without the government!?

  • @Larry, @Ornlu, @C, @HeyHeyHouston: Thanks for catching that. We were looking at the map upside down. It’s fixed now.

  • Why not go NE of downtown through Bush Airport. Then you have the direct train everyone wants to downtown houston from the airports and the open land to the NE is better utilized.

  • Oh yeah, college station circle jerk by Perry and his followers.

  • thanks obama.

  • I would use this train fairly regularly if the stop is somewhere centrally located. If I have to catch it in a suburb and then stop in College Station, I might as well go to hobby airport and take SW since they have a flight every 30 minutes. How about putting the station at the old Main Post Office Building downtown? There are tracks there already, I believe and the USPS is trying to unload that property.

  • The proposed route and stations lie upon the TxDOT/HGAC sanctioned intermodal mass transit corridor.

    I see the Texas Central Railway maximizing revenue with the three proposed Harris County stations. It is likely they will lay not two sets of track, but three in the Harris County Corridor and run a commuter line between the three stations on the extra track. The smallest Shinkansen commuter train set, in Japan, holds 1300 people. If you ran a train between the three stations every fifteen minutes you would remove almost five thousand cars per hour from the Northwest Freeway. A commuter rail that runs every fifteen minutes at an average of even ninety miles per hour through the corridor would be very, very popular. Real estate developers in far NW Houston would also love it.

    The sole purpose of the College Station Station is to allow a spur line to Austin/SanAntonio which would likely be built subsequently. A spur through College Station would then connect both Houston and Dallas to Austin/SanAntonio with the construction of an additonal 170 miles of track instead of the 400 miles which the triangle idea requires. A spur instead of a triangle would create a slight longer trip time to Austin/San Antonio. But at 200 mph, the spur adds only 18 minutes to the trip from Dallas to San Antonio and about 12 minutes to the trip from Houston to San Antonio.

  • I see the optimism gestapo is out for this one. Anytime rail of any kind is mentioned it’s “no way” “never” and “not in my lifetime”. Nothing like good old Texas cynicism to make the party fun! “Too much money” “NIMBY” “Too complicated”. Oddly, back in the 50’s or 60’s if something like this was proposed there would be public outcry to make it happen. Now? No wonder nothing gets done around here.

  • Ok, southerners. You do know that a train does not have to stop at every stop? There is such a thing as an “express” train that skips the little stops between the big cities. And even without an express, I would gladly sit for five minutes in College Station on a nice comfy bullet train rather than have to deal with the Southwest Airlines cattle cars or sit on I-45 for hours and hours.

  • This train is needed and do-able, and I bet there are federal funds all up in it…
    However, shouldn’t Houston be moved to higher ground first – before making the long-term commitment?

  • It has to be Downtown to Downtown, period. I think this will get built…eventually. It needs to make a triangle tho, SA to Houston to Dallas. Texas is perfect for a bullet train. Love tho idea.

  • As another wag has said: All of this talk is very interesting – but, in the end, it is just that: talk.
    I’ve lived in this town a long time and my money is on the bet that it never gets built. Too expensive, too bureaucratic, too long to execute, and too many pitfalls for any investor. A better bet would be to take the $10 billion and buy Texas Lottery scratch-offs. You’d probably lose less – and you’d finish scratching off all of those tickets before a single bond was sold for the bullet train.

  • I’m very interested in seeing the third option for an Interstate 10 route, but one of the aspects cited as being important early on was that they should be able to identify sites that are physically suitable for terminals and that are also economically suited for intensive redevelopment. The 290 route offers some impressive opportunities for large real estate plays, whereas the I-10 corridor is more spatially constrained.

    Regarding the College Station connection, though, I can’t really imagine that making any financial sense.

    @ Jardinero01: It strikes me as wholly inconceivable that any Shinkansen train would run at or even near capacity between any location along Beltway 8 and downtown if it runs at reasonable intervals. This would be especially true if the ticket price were not subsidized.

    @ JT100: FYI, Houston’s METRO as no more money for major capital projects. Also, the Texas legislature as it exists is a whole lot more likely to try and hamstring them by various means than they are to fund them. This high-speed rail proposal needs to be considered on its own merits for the time being.

  • Haters gonna hate.

    Hoping the Japanese Shinkansen is the model by which they are comparing everything. It is a picture of efficiency… affordable, comfortable, no long security lines, and drastically reduces travel times with few stops between major hubs (downtowns-downtowns).

  • FWIW, the line parallel to Hempstead Road is the Union Pacific not the BNSF.

  • A ride to/from College Station to/from Shiro means ~1 hour in a car for someone, probably outside the reach of anything but an Uber/Lyft type deal (with who knows what type of pricing) or a really good friend that has a car. By the time you deal with that and schedule/hire someone on the other end to take you to wherever you are going (especially in Houston) you will be significantly behind from a time aspect. I can’t see how that stop is worth any added value.

  • DynamoChelsea, you hit it on the head. I think our new region moto needs to be “Houston, the City that Can’t”. That way, no one would ever be disappointed in the total lack of vision our residents and leadership have about the future of our area. If we can build a 27 lane freeway why is it impossible to build a train? Its a private venture….isn’t that what free-wheeling Houston is all about?

  • I love the idea of this train. I drive to my farm in Centerville almost every weekend. This would get you people who normally drive to Dallas out of my way. It’s all about me.

  • dang…houston can’t even get rail from downtown to iah or hobby……
    houston is way behind dallas in light rail……check out dart……from the burbs to downtown to dfw…
    or any other smaller city that has light rail..like ..saint louis ..in order for it to work it has to reach out to the suburbs…….

  • Without going into too much detail about discussions I may or may not have been party to 7-8 years ago, suffice to say that the extra space underneath the new IH-610 overpass just to the north of where it crosses Hempstead Road, which is there for storm drainage and detention, would also make a great location for the eastern approach to a commuter rail / HSR terminal on the Northwest Mall site.

    Mind you, I’m not saying anyone ever discussed using it as such, I’m just saying that you could.

  • If this thing gets built, and If this thing terminates at the NW transit center, I will trade in my car on a stinky Diesel powered truck that spews black smoke and spend as much time as is possible driving around the neighborhoods making as much traffic and noise as is possible as a display of my disdain of the nimbyism.