Texas High-Speed Train Unveils Passenger Stations in Dallas and Houston
AUSTIN, TX Developers of the Texas Bullet Train unveiled new details on its passenger stations in Dallas and Houston, giving riders quick and comfortable access for their in-state travels instead of being stuck on traffic-clogged roads.
Texas Central said the Dallas terminal will be built on a largely vacant 60-acre plot south of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in the revitalized Cedars neighborhood, near the Interstate 30 and Interstate 35 interchange. The area is undergoing a remarkable transition from mostly light industrial and manufacturing facilities to a walkable neighborhood, featuring repurposed and new-build mixed-use developments.
In Houston, the Northwest Mall near the interchange of Interstate 610 and US 290 was identified as the preferred site of the new passenger station. The terminal will be ideally located in a high-growth area, with easy access to employment centers, including the Galleria, the Energy Corridor and downtown. The station not only will be a catalyst for economic growth but it also will offer a convenient, efficient and direct network for passengers to and from local transit systems.
These announcements come just months after federal regulators overseeing the project said in an environment analysis that the 200-mph, North Texas-to-Houston train would "alleviate the strain" on the state's infrastructure and "is needed to accommodate growing demand."
From the Dallas station, passengers will have a 90-minute connection to the Greater Houston region, along with a midway stop in the Brazos Valley. Plans call for connecting the local station to multimodal transportation networks, including DART services.
The introduction of the Texas Bullet Train to the Cedars will accelerate and enhance economic growth in the southern edge of downtown, including office, retail, entertainment, restaurants, hotels, apartments and condominiums.
Texas Central released maps and conceptual renderings - final designs are pending - that show a sleek multi-level station between South Riverfront Boulevard and Austin Street, built to link with nearby roadways and other forms of transportation. That includes proposed traveler-friendly connections with DART's light-rail system, buses and other transit systems.
"This station will be a magnet for economic activity in an area ripe for development. And it will connect seamlessly with local roads and public transit," said Texas Central CEO Carlos Aguilar.
In Houston, Texas Central released maps and conceptual renderings - final designs are pending - that show a multi-level station on a 45-acre site. It will link seamlessly with other forms of transportation, including proposed traveler-friendly connections with the greater Houston region.
Houston business executive Drayton McLane Jr., Chairman of the Board of Directors for Texas Central, said the company is looking forward to working with the city and the region on an innovative project that will help the economy, generate more local revenue and provide new job opportunities.
"As our state grows, we're moving further apart as a result of travel time and increasing congestion. The Texas Bullet Train answers that. This will bring us closer together and fuel a super economy that rivals any in the world," McLane said.
"This is a new model for infrastructure improvements - it's transformational. Everyone along the route will benefit. The entire state, and especially all the counties and communities along the route, will see gains. That includes getting more in tax revenue from the train and from ticket sales and more local jobs and business for those helping to build the project," McLane said.
Jack Matthews, President of Matthews Southwest, will be developing the station project. "We look forward to helping create a new community that will also bring a transportation asset to all Houstonians," Matthews said. "We are excited to work in an area with so much potential for vibrancy, including transit-oriented development."
The Federal Railroad Administration's (FRA) recently released Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) outlined three station options in northwest Houston. Studies show the center of Houston's population base is growing north and west of the Central Business District.
Texas Central said the mall site is preferred because of minimal environmental and community effects. And it allows the high-speed train largely to follow existing rights of way, while providing passengers with easy, efficient roadway access and connectivity with METRO's Northwest Transit Center and other options.
In mid-December, the FRA identified a single, preferred route for the train that does not extend into the downtown core. Doing so potentially would create significant effects on the community and property, including unfavorable impacts from construction, higher costs and extended building schedules.
"Houston continues to grow. Growing the smart way includes providing a wider choice of transportation options beyond more private vehicles and more roads. The Texas Bullet Train fits the transportation paradigm shift I have called for. And now with a preferred location for the Houston station, we are one big step closer to boarding for an exciting trip to the Brazos Valley and on to Dallas," Mayor Sylvester Turner said.
The Texas Bullet Train would bridge the two largest cities - and half of the state's population. Last month, the FRA identified the train's preferred route, mostly following transmission lines in a utility corridor between North Texas and Houston, with the Brazos Valley stop serving Bryan-College Station, Texas A&M University and others.
The Railroad will create 10,000 jobs during each year of construction and about 1,500 full-time jobs when operations start.
According to the DEIS, the Dallas station concourses would consist of public areas, such as restaurants, bars, seating areas, fast foods, concessions, newsstands and rental car counters.