Texas’s Department of Transportation has just announced the kickoff of a 2-year, $14 million study of options for new passenger rail service between the state’s “major metropolitan areas” and Oklahoma City. Funded by a grant from the Federal Railroad Administration, the Federal Highway Administration, the state of Oklahoma, the North Central Texas Council of Governments, and TxDOT itself, the study will compare options for enhancing existing Amtrak routes and building a new high-speed rail backbone through the state, as well as the possibility of public-private partnerships, the agency says. The proposed north-south route would connect San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas to its northern neighbor. (That follows the FRA’s longstanding designation of high-speed rail corridors; the federal agency’s proposed map of the South Central region is shown above.)
But what about, um, that other major metropolitan area nearby?
* * *
TxDOT’s announcement makes no direct mention of Houston, though it does throw this bone to the southeast: “If built, the Oklahoma City to South Texas line could provide the foundation for a high-speed or higher performance rail system that would eventually connect all the major metropolitan areas in Texas.”
- State Launches Rail Study to See if Passenger Trains from Oklahoma to Texas can Provide Congestion Relief for Drivers [TxDOT]
- Is Texas on track to high-speed rail? [San Antonio Express-News]
- TxDOT to study north-south passenger rail service [Austin Business Journal]
Map of designated high-speed rail corridors: Federal Railroad Administration