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#1 The Davy Crockett

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 01:58 PM

205 mph Shinkansen passenger service between DFW and Houston in 8 years?  :unsure:  

 

The Texas Central Railway claims it could be a reality. 

 

This proposal, and that is really all it is at the moment, does seem almost as 'pie-in-the-sky' as Xpress West to me, but since there has been very little talk of it here at AU, other than this unclearly named thread, I thought I'd give it a proper thread of its own, as the addition of one person to the payroll has some folks taking the project a bit more seriously.

 

From dallasnews.com...

"Editorial: Boost for Texas bullet train project" :

Tom Schieffer, former Texas Rangers president and ambassador to Japan and Australia, has joined the Texas Central High-Speed Railway as a senior adviser, company president Robert Eckels, former Harris County judge, told this newspaper.

The privately financed company aims to start 205 mph rail service between Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston as early as 2021.

The Japan part of Schieffer’s résumé is key: The Texas-based company is affiliated with the Central Japan Railway, a leader in rail technology and operator of the bullet train that serves Tokyo and Osaka.

Schieffer’s role includes helping line up investors for the $10 billion Texas project and bridging differences in business practices in the two nations. His Fort Worth roots are intended to calm officials on the western side of the metro area who have been clamoring to make sure the train line serves not just Dallas, but Fort Worth and D/FW Airport passengers as well...

 

...It’s operating on private capital that wants a U.S. demonstration project for proven Japanese bullet-train technology.

The goal is connecting two major population centers about 250 miles apart, the optimum distance for competing with air service and highway travel.

Enter the Dallas-Houston route and Texas’ reputation for a friendly business climate. Eckels says an investment-grade market study indicates that the Texas route would be profitable.

The Texas bullet train would be routed mostly on right-of-way controlled by freight rail, TxDOT or utility companies. Some private land would have to be acquired, and the railroad would have power of eminent domain if business negotiations failed.

 

One thing that is for sure:  The TCR website could use some updating...

 

As they say, everything is bigger in Texas.  Could be the bullets, the opportunities, and/or the BS... :o

 

And speaking of opportunities, I see a chance for Jim Hudson to get onboard as a spokesperson to educate his fellow Texans that these bullet trains would be for riding on, not shooting at!  :P  :P :P  

 


I wish I was a headlight on a northbound of the border train.

#2 mfastx

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 12:38 AM

As a native Houstonian, I'm cautiously optimistic about this proposal.  But there's been rumors of HSR between Texas cities for decades, and even though it's a complete no-brainer, local politics and other obstacles have made it impossible. 

 

I hope that the trend is reversed, but I'm not holding my breath. 



#3 rrdude

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 08:16 AM

You wanna see some dirt actually get turned over for this? Get SWA to buy in, as an equity partner....imagine feeding the hubs they have, JUST in Texas! Won't ever happen though

#4 afigg

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 09:50 AM

Yes, the proposal to build a Dallas - Houston HSR line deserves a new thread. I read the current effort as a serious one which is bringing some of the power brokers in Texas on board, which is a key step in a state where the power brokers and corporate interests have a lot of say in the state government.

No way the HSR line is running by 2021 and the knowledgeable players know that. It will years of environmental studies, selection of the route, design engineering, property acquisition, political maneuvering before construction can start. They are putting out a by 2021 date as a teaser to get backing for the project. However, I do think the odds are pretty good that a Dallas to Houston HSR line will be under construction in 10 years.

As for SWA, it is not the 1980s or 1990s any more. The airlines do not make much of a profit, if they make a profit at all, on short haul routes any more. The cost of fuel along with the price wars have undercut the airline market for short haul routes. The money is made in longer haul flights. SWA may not stand in the way of a Dallas to Houston HSR corridor, especially if the corridor connects to or provides single transfer trips to the airports for longer haul connecting flights.

#5 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 10:37 AM

Texans have been hearing variations on this story for decades, each time with different criteria, but absolutely nothing at all to show for it. These days I try to avoid making blanket comments but I honestly don’t see this happening in my lifetime.
As for SWA, it is not the 1980s or 1990s any more. The airlines do not make much of a profit, if they make a profit at all, on short haul routes any more. The cost of fuel along with the price wars have undercut the airline market for short haul routes. The money is made in longer haul flights. SWA may not stand in the way of a Dallas to Houston HSR corridor, especially if the corridor connects to or provides single transfer trips to the airports for longer haul connecting flights.

I’ve flown WN, AA, and COdbaUA many times. In general the planes they use for intrastate flights are paid off, the flights are almost always full, and the fares are double or even triple what they were in the pre-merger era. WN and COdbaUA are much larger and stronger now than they've ever been in the past while US and AA are trying their best to follow in their footsteps. The idea that their combined influence is reduced or restricted does not seem accurate to me. If you want to see who really runs Texas just take a look at how much time and effort we continue to dump into the DFW money pit.

-CRW

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#6 rrdude

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 11:03 AM

Texans have been hearing variations on this story for decades, each time with different criteria, but absolutely nothing at all to show for it. These days I try to avoid making blanket comments but I honestly don’t see this happening in my lifetime.

As for SWA, it is not the 1980s or 1990s any more. The airlines do not make much of a profit, if they make a profit at all, on short haul routes any more. The cost of fuel along with the price wars have undercut the airline market for short haul routes. The money is made in longer haul flights. SWA may not stand in the way of a Dallas to Houston HSR corridor, especially if the corridor connects to or provides single transfer trips to the airports for longer haul connecting flights.

I’ve flown WN, AA, and COdbaUA many times. In general the planes they use for intrastate flights are paid off, the flights are almost always full, and the fares are double or even triple what they were in the pre-merger era. WN and COdbaUA are much larger and stronger now than they've ever been in the past while US and AA are trying their best to follow in their footsteps. The idea that their combined influence is reduced or restricted does not seem accurate to me. If you want to see who really runs Texas just take a look at how much time and effort we continue to dump into the DFW money pit.

-CRW

I agree, I was president of TexArp for a short time in the 80's, and we went around back then showing a film, (yes they had color films back then, maybe it was BetaMax, I dunno.........) about the advantages of HSR, and what the "Texas Triangle" would look like with HSR...Mostly videos of French, Japanese, and German HSR at the time.  

 

Interesting to think that China was still running mainline steam engines at the time, and had not probably even thought about HSR.

 

My how far things have come. Now China is a world leader in HSR, and Texas is stuck running a few,  very few, LD trains. (sans commuter operations in DFW-Metroplex, Austin, and a few other areas.)

 

"Hey Texas, China just kicked yer ass when it comes to HSR."

 

May THAT's what the Texas politicians and business leaders need to here, get the spirit of competition moving...........



#7 Bob Dylan

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 11:57 AM

These schemes come up all the time in Texas and have for Years as was said!,  Mostly they are floated by a bunch of hustlers and confidence men that Texas has plenty of! On this I'm from Missouri, they'll have to Show Me! :help:


 
"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 
".. I ride on a Mail Train Baby, can't buy a thrill.."--I said that!
 
"..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#8 Anderson

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 10:15 AM

it's been a while, but there's now a story on the Texas Central operation providing at least a few scattered details on the plans:
http://fwbusinesspre...rn-details.aspx

 

The big news IMHO is that they seem to be looking at three stations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Two other fun excerpts:


Asked how much passenger tickets would cost, and Eckels said, “as much as we can charge,” emphasizing his company’s private business status.

 

 

Each train would carry between 300 and 500 passengers, seat two to three per row and run on dedicated track. Trains would run every half hour for a project expected to cost “multiples of billions of dollars,” said Eckels, noting that route selection and station locations could dramatic alter project costs.

 


Environmental impact studies are expected to begin in early 2014, with construction tentatively slated to begin in 2016 and trains possibly reaching operation by 2020 or 2021.


Edited by Anderson, 07 October 2013 - 10:15 AM.

Capitol Limited (7), CA Zephyr (4) Lake Shore Limited (1), Acela (2), NE Regional (2), Sliver Meteor (4)

Upcoming: Silver Meteor (1), Lake Shore Limited (1), SW Chief (2), MO River Runner (1), Texas Eagle (1)

Possibly Upcoming: Either Texas Eagle (1), Capitol Limited (1), Silver Meteor (2) or Texas Eagle (1), Capitol Limited (1), Silver Meteor (1)

#9 Bob Dylan

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 12:56 PM

Dont want to Be Negative Cliff, but Again  as a Native Texan and having  Interest in all Things Rail and Political ,  Maybe Some of our Younger Members May get to see this get Off the Ground in their Lifetimes! :unsure: This Scheme has been Kicking Around for Many Decades in Texas  and it Comes and Goes Regularly, only the Names Involved  Change! ( Would you put your Money into this Scheme  as an Investment? If I had any, I wouldn't! )I'm from Missouri on this One! ;)


Edited by jimhudson, 07 October 2013 - 01:09 PM.

 
"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 
".. I ride on a Mail Train Baby, can't buy a thrill.."--I said that!
 
"..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#10 jis

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 02:31 PM

"Hey Texas, China just kicked yer ass when it comes to HSR."
 
May THAT's what the Texas politicians and business leaders need to here, get the spirit of competition moving...........

Arguably, China has been kicking Texas' behind on anything to do with R for a while now. :) The HS part is just the icing on the cake.

Edited by jis, 07 October 2013 - 02:31 PM.


#11 mfastx

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 04:25 PM

Construction tentatively scheduled for 2016?  Wouldn't that be something.  I'll believe it when I see it.



#12 Anderson

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 04:41 PM

I'm ignoring the timetable, except for possibly the environmental work starting.  We all know how often, even in a favorable environment, construction timetables are kept.  Even FEC seems to have lost significant time in setting things up.


Capitol Limited (7), CA Zephyr (4) Lake Shore Limited (1), Acela (2), NE Regional (2), Sliver Meteor (4)

Upcoming: Silver Meteor (1), Lake Shore Limited (1), SW Chief (2), MO River Runner (1), Texas Eagle (1)

Possibly Upcoming: Either Texas Eagle (1), Capitol Limited (1), Silver Meteor (2) or Texas Eagle (1), Capitol Limited (1), Silver Meteor (1)

#13 Shawn Ryu

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 01:07 AM

Construction tentatively scheduled for 2016?  Wouldn't that be something.  I'll believe it when I see it.

 

 

Knowing NIMBYS realistic date is 2040.



#14 FrensicPic

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 07:15 AM

Not holding my breath here in California :unsure:


John...

22,913 miles on the Coast Starlight, Sunset Limited, Texas Eagle, Southwest Chief, Empire Builder and Capitol Limited.

More miles on the Pacific Surfliner, Metrolink, White Pass and Yukon Route, Grand Canyon Railway, Napa Valley Wine Train, Fillmore and Western and private railcars with LARail.com

6489 more miles booked

 

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#15 cirdan

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 04:27 AM

 

Construction tentatively scheduled for 2016?  Wouldn't that be something.  I'll believe it when I see it.

 
Some guys in suits posing for press photographs spade-in-hand maybe. But I'm not betting on any meaningful construction for many years beyond that.

#16 CHamilton

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 10:35 AM

Dallas to Houston in 90 Minutes May Soon Become a Reality
According to the Texas Tribune‘s Aman Batheja, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx just confirmed that the federal government will team up with the Texas Department of Transportation and Texas Central High-Speed Railway to study a possible Dallas-Fort Worth to Houston rail line.

 


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#17 jis

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 11:49 AM

Sigh.... Yet another study, to be followed by more studies and NEPA and what not. Other countries spend less money building the entire friggin' system than we spend on studies of studies about whether to build a system :(

#18 me_little_me

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 01:32 PM

Sigh.... Yet another study, to be followed by more studies and NEPA and what not. Other countries spend less money building the entire friggin' system than we spend on studies of studies about whether to build a system :(

And I love the "soon to become a reality". Even after the studies, there is funding then delays by opponents in congress and state legislatures, then environmental studies, then contracts to be let, then lawsuits by environmentalists, people whose land is taken, financial opponents and naysayers, then construction, then more lawsuits over the ballooning cost caused by all the delays, then completion of the first ten miles between Hooterville and Nowheresville as a "demonstration"  then testing then complaints that nobody is taking the 10 mile train, then more lawsuits. Then, "soon" is 2040. Then the line is abandoned as technology has made it obsolete.


Edited by me_little_me, 08 January 2014 - 01:39 PM.


#19 afigg

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 03:55 PM

Sigh.... Yet another study, to be followed by more studies and NEPA and what not. Other countries spend less money building the entire friggin' system than we spend on studies of studies about whether to build a system :(

Have any of the studies been beyond a feasibility study or proposal? The initial studies and reports don't cost that much, so the total spent over the years on Texas T-Bone or other proposals probably have not been that much, when compared to the cost of a full up NEPA and PE and then construction. But, yes, this is the US where for transit and highway systems (and many DOD systems as well) we commission studies, then more studies, white papers, proposals until the sum total of the sheer mass of the studies is enough to break through the Wall of Resistance and the project may get funding and advance.

 

On a more serious note, though, I think that building a HSR line between Dallas and Houston will eventually get traction and be built. The most significant change from 10 or 15 years ago is that Dallas and Houston are building rail transit system with Houston opening a new light rail extension just a few weeks ago. Having respectable local rail transit systems in both cities for the HSR trains to connect to helps to build local political support for a HSR service.



#20 Bob Dylan

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 05:20 PM

All of the previous Proposals/Schemes for HSR in Texas have included Austin and San Antonio on the Red Hot I-35  Corridor!

I Question if there Would Be that Much Ridership Between Dallas and Houston if There Wasn''t  a Triangle Route that  Included the I-35 Corridor ?? :help:

 

This is Would Be an Immensely Expensive Project IF it is Ever Built and Would Require the Feds and State to Kick in Billions of Dollars and All Kinds of Tax Incentives to the Private Sector Partners!  Talk Radio is Blowing Up  About this Topic with All the NIMBYS  (Right and Left Wing) Blowing a Gasket! I Even Heard a Caller in Austin say: "No-one Rides Trains Anymore and Were' Already Spending Billions on Toll Roads and the Airport!"  Imagine That! :rolleyes:


 
"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 
".. I ride on a Mail Train Baby, can't buy a thrill.."--I said that!
 
"..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay




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