Wed. Oct 4th, 2023

Amtrak and a company called Texas Central announced a partnership on Wednesday to connect Houston and Dallas by train, spanning roughly 240 miles at speeds upwards of 205 mph. Popular Science reports: According to Quartz, the applications have already been submitted to “several federal grant programs” to help finance research and design costs. Amtrak representatives estimate the project could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 100,000 tons annually and remove an estimated 12,500 cars per day from the region’s I-45 corridor. The reduction in individual vehicles on the roads could also save as much as 65 million gallons of fuel each year.

The trains traveling Amtrak’s Dallas-Houston route would be based on Japan’s updated N700S Series Shinkansen “bullet train,” a design that first debuted in 2020. “This high-speed train, using advanced, proven Shinkansen technology, has the opportunity to revolutionize rail travel in the southern US,” Texas Central CEO Michael Bui said via the August 9 announcement.

American city planners have been drawn to the idea of high-speed railways for decades, but have repeatedly fallen short of getting them truly on track due to a host of issues, including funding, political pushback, and cultural hurdles. That said, 85 percent of recently surveyed travelers between Dallas and the greater North Texas area indicated they would ride such a form of transportation “in the right circumstances.” If so, as many as 6 million travelers could be expected to ride the train by the end of the decade, with the number rising to 13 million by 2050.

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