San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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by AMAN BATHEJA

IRVING – The leaders of Texas Central High-Speed Railway sound very confident for a company expecting to succeed where scores of state planners, elected officials and private interests have failed.

The firm hopes to have bullet trains moving Texans at 205 miles per hour between Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston by 2020.

The bit that has raised eyebrows: The company plans to do it without seeking public financing.

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4 thoughts on “Private firm plans high-speed Texas rail

  1. The passenger railways went bankrupt due to the advent of passenger jet aircraft starting in 1959, in addition to the development of motorways (express-ways) like the Interstate system (which eventually swallowed most of them up) starting right at that time – especially when the car was seen as a symbol of status and independence. Furthermore, passengers were being neglected in favour of freight even then after so much of that traffic was lost after the railway strike of 1954 (if I recall correctly) – and in any case, trains weren’t moving anywhere near as fast then as these bullet-trains can do nowadays.

    As part of the success of this – or any HSR/TGV/TAV (treno alta-velocità – Italian for “high-speed train”) – ALL level crossings with any roads or other railways MUST be COMPLETELY eliminated and catenary carefully installed for optimum speed, with trains’ height standardised and track-curves made as wide as possible, with radii of not less than 5 km. (3 miles). Furthermore, any slope increases/decreases have to be kept at no more than 1% (1 in 100).

  2. No less important for an HSR to work is that lines must be double-tracked and built completely for HSR standards on BOTH tracks. Any freight traffic has to be made subservient to passenger trains, with those freight trains that get to use it being limited in length so they can go at speeds of 160 km./hr (100 MPH) and so be compatible with passenger traffic. The twin tracks ought to be connected to each other at decent intervals using the highest-possible precision switches with LONG interchange-lengths so as not to slow anything down at all.

    Done right, the USA could catch up to Europe or Japan as quickly as anybody (China included) and even surpass them!! After all, roads will NEVER be able to go faster than 110 km./h. (70 MPH), while the skies are absolutely past the point of saturation with air traffic such that more airports are NOT the answer (especially given how much time is spent in checking-in/out plus security – on top of getting to and from an airport). This is where rail comes into play as a medium to fill the gap between road and air transportation – and where aeroplanes can then be concentrated on what they do best, long-distances of not less than 800 km. (500 miles).

  3. Catching up to Europe on anything is a non-starter in today’s political climate,I’m afraid. In case you haven’t heard, half of Americans despise and distrust Europe. Too secular, too socialist, too European for corn-fed American tastes.

    And that’s too bad. High-speed rail would be an excellent addition to our people moving options.

  4. I once looked into passenger train from Austin to Fort-Worth for commuting on weekends. It took at least an hour more to get there by train than by car and that did not include getting to/from the depot. Passenger trains in TX don’t work. HSR on the other hand is a viable alternative to driving. Covering long distances in such a short period of time really opens up a whole lot of opportunity that I think will help attract even more businesses with good jobs to Texas.

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