The Ride to the Bullet Train at Northwest Mall

THE RIDE TO THE BULLET TRAIN AT NORTHWEST MALL One piece of the agreement announced by Mayor Turner this morning with Texas Central Partners, the company behind a planned bullet train between here and Dallas: a promise that the city and the company will work together on transit options to and from the train’s Houston station. “In the memorandum,” Dug Begley reports, “Texas Central notes the likely end of their Houston-to-Dallas line will be south of U.S. 290, west of Loop 610 and north of Interstate 10. The exact site has been long suspected as the current location of Northwest Mall.” All but a handful of stores inside the mall shut down earlier this year. [Houston Chronicle ($); previously on Swamplot] Photo of Northwest Mall: Levcor  

18 Comment

  • Light rail needs to connect

  • Chasing an overpriced, obsolete, 35 year old technology. Break out the white leisure suit, Mayor Sylvester is bolding bringing Houston mass transportation into the 1970s.

  • Great location but as Cb noted light rail needs to connect!

  • Reuse the old Macy’s store as the train terminal.

  • It would be fantastic if NW Mall could be the location for the rail.

  • Always a Negative Nancy around to discourage any kind of progress. Agreed, it’s late but better than never.

  • Yeah, I wouldn’t want to have to get on an icky bus to get there. Give me a shiny $150M/mile car smashing traffic stopping machine to get there in style.

  • Guess it’s better we’re in 1970s technology rather than 1950’s interstate system, eh? Small steps, small steps.

    As for the light rail comment, we need to learn from the past mistakes of our current light rail system. It needs to be separate from the street system so that it can travel faster than having to wait at certain intersection and we need more police on board to make it feel safer. We should seriously take a look at D.C’s and especially Denver’s light rail and commuter rail system. Rode it the other week and Denver is quite similar to Houston in its transportation system but the speed it can travel and get you places is light years better than what Houston built.

  • From there you can hop on the light rail and ride at a whopping 12 MPH (current average speed of MetroRail). Yippee!!!!!!

  • I agree with Triton’s comment: if we’re doing light rail to meet up with this terminus, it needs to be separated from street traffic. Denver’s light rail system is pretty sweet in that it has its own dedicated space – no competition from cars, no collisions, and it can zoom along.
    A slow train doesn’t provide an incentive to drivers to get out of their car, which defeats a main purpose of having a mass transit system.

  • If LR were really a requirement, could it share the track system that runs along Hempstead Hwy into the Washington Corridor to downtown? Or are the gauges totally incompatible?

    Otherwise, I think Uber and Lyft could make a LR option largely irrelevant.

  • I would have to believe that any light rail to the Northwest Mall will have to A) also run past the NW Transit Center and B) connect to the end of the Green and Purple lines at Capital/Rusk and Buffalo Bayou. There’s a couple options for a route. If not grade separated (dumb), then it probably run east to west as Capital/Rusk terminus to Memorial Dr to Houston Ave to Washington Ave to Old Katy Rd to NW Transit Center to Post Oak Ln to NW Mall / HSR terminus. You might to able to place on Center Street instead of Washington Ave from Houston to Shepard/Durham, but I think that is unlikely. If it is grade separated (most of the way), you could hop on the BNSF (?) ROW (would need different tracks to be built) at Houston Ave. until the MKT junction north of Transtar then follow Old Katy Rd to the NW Transit Center. Another possibility would be either using the I-10 ROW or Allen Parkway / Memorial Dr. ROW to 610 then up to the NW Transit Center.

    I guess the point is if putting in light rail, you need stops between the HSR Terminus and Downtown for it to make any sense.

  • @EmmettBrown. Lol, white leisure suit. The world would be a happier place if we could just all wear our leisure suits. Everyone would be happier because there’s no way you can take yourself seriously wearing a pajama/suit hybrid. Let’s do it for America!!!

  • The high speed rail is not really 1970’s technology. They have continuously improved it since then so it is actually very modern and safe because they have gradually learned how to improve it. Sort of like how cars in the 70’s were crappy by today’s standards but they are now quite good.

    All they need to do transportation wise at NW mall is fix up all the roads leading in and carve out some new thoroughfares to I-10 and 290. Lots of room to improve over there. I hope they don’t do the dedicated bus lanes to the galleria. People will uber where they need to go, have rides arranged, taxi or rent cars or take shared vans to the hotels. We don’t need transport directly to the shopping at the galleria.

  • first things first… maybe wait for texas central to start laying its hypothetical track before before you start installing your hypothetical light rail.

  • Who are the ones clamoring to ride this thing? Not some study by the proponents or politicians with some corruption in mind, but real, unbiased study and analysis that identifies those likely to fork over the cash to take a train ride through “Central Texas”? (More than once for the novelty).

  • They did a study and found that there are enough super commuters to and from Dallas to support this just like they support air travel from Houston to Dallas on a regular basis. Lots of people commute to and from both cities on a regular basis. Personally I think thats crazy, but lots of people do it. Plus there is tons of demand for people who have family in both cities.

  • Hopefully the rail terminal will connect directly to downtown via light rail. As opposed to taking the University Line….south on Post Oak Line, east on Univ. Line, north of red Line…..two transfers to get to downtown? Nope.

    @Rob R., I don’t know if light rail down Washington or Center would work. What if the light rail went south down the existing rail ROW to Washington and I-10. Then went west along I-10. South on Houston Ave in to downtown. Maybe?