Not sure if Texas' would also include Pikachu, but a man can dream. Photo: Flickr

Dallas to Houston in 90 Minutes May Soon Become a Reality

Not really, but get ready to climb aboard the bullet train.

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.

Texas Central is a for-profit company, “working to bring high-speed, high-tech rail to our great state with a route between Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston in the next ten years with a travel time of 90 minutes.” The trains, Texas Central purports, will travel at 200-miles-per-hour.

And some studies are already in the works. The Texas-Oklahoma Passenger Rail Study is expected by the end of the year, and a bunch of UT-Arlington researchers published a study last fall advocating for high-speed trains along Texas’ major highways. The latter study said additional research should be performed on four stretches:  Interstate 20 from Fort Worth to Dallas, Interstate 45 from Houston to Dallas, Texas 6 from Houston to Waco, and Interstate 35 from Laredo to Dallas-Fort Worth.

That last stretch, though, would fail completely because of one major oversight: no kolaches on a bullet train.

Here’s a video shilling Texas Central’s points. It’s shiny.

Comments

  • Bill Marvel

    At last! Railroad passenger service in the U.S. will catch up with China!

    • CommonSense

      Except nobody will be riding it. #moneyhole

      This is one of those things that sounds great, but never works. If it were predictable, it wouldn’t need so much government money.

  • Michael

    This post would be better with screen shots of Tweets.

  • CSP

    Hey, don’t be so sure. I for one am looking forward to the time savings I’ll realize by being able to take a train to Houston in 90 minutes instead of a plane in 30.

    Especially after seeing how much success, with absolutely no cost overruns whatsoever, California has had trying to do something similar.

  • TheReal CommonSense

    Don’t speak for other people. You may not ride it or think you may never. Just consider that plenty of people spend the same amount of time going through security, boarding an airplane, and flying between many of these cities today. With population increases, these numbers will be sure to grow and even grow further if this rail line is completed.

  • Even More CommonSense

    I sure as Hell will and I know plenty of individuals and businesses that will too.

  • Ray

    What to hell are cars and highways made for, tell me that isn’t logical.

  • Collin Vincent

    I would ride it…depending on cost of course. As an outside sales rep that travels the entire state, this would be a good alternative to arriving an hour or two ahead of a flight to Houston as long as it is cost competative.

  • Collin Vincent

    As an outside sales rep that makes numerouse trips to Houston, this would be a great alternative to driving to the airport to be there an hour or so ahead of the flight time for the 1 hour gate to gate, 35 minute actual flight time, as long as it would be cost competative.

    • Ian .P

      Lets see what SWA response is this time around.

    • theSenator07

      I sympathize, but what happens to your time advantage when the TSA sets up rail station security just like post-9/11 airport security? My hunch is that it disappears.

  • Erik Mancol

    This would be great!

  • ともこ 辻山

    Stupid. Yeah. Because that’s all this idiotic country really needs fucking bullet trains..when they don’t even use the public transportation they have now…

  • ともこ 辻山

    Stupid. Yeah. That’s all this idiotic country really needs fucking bullet trains. When they don’t even use the public transportation they have now.

  • ともこ 辻山

    Stupid. Yeah. That’s all this idiotic country really needs fucking bullet trains. When they don’t even use the public transportation they have now.

  • Brian

    whatever

  • Brian

    I sure hope it happens but I have been reading this rumor for about 5 yrs. Get on with it and make it real. Would be awesome.

    • Dan Kerr

      Brian – the rumor has been around for a lot longer than that. It started and was killed by Gov Ann Richards.

  • Ian .P

    DART – No one will ride it
    Klyde Warren Park – No one will use it
    No
    No
    No

  • theSenator07

    As much as I love ICE trains in Europe, they would be a disaster in the USA. American cities are not walkable like European cities. Much of the time-benefit that American rail might offer is illusory: at the first sign of trouble, Congress would order the TSA to police rail stations like post-9/11 airports. The cost-benefit is also illusory: Southwest flies roundtrip from Dallas to Houston in 1hr for $136, and its doubtful private rail would beat such a low price. As for the environment, its worth noting that multiple studies have shown that trains are as bad for the environment as airplanes. Rail is nonsensical in a place developed around late-20th-century sprawl and automobiles, i.e., a place like Texas.

    • Mike J

      The idea for me here isn’t to replace flying – I hardly ever fly from Houston to Dallas – the timeframe just doesn’t really work with what it takes to get to/from airports, etc. This would be to replace driving for me, which I really loathe. If it can come close to the cost of driving myself there, I’m all over this.

      And the idea that round trip flights are $136 from dallas to Houston is only reality if you’re booking around sales and over a month in advance. Most of my trips to Dallas aren’t like that. If these train tickets are reasonably priced a short time from the trip, I’m all over this.

    • Bill Marvel

      Senator — You’ve been away from Washington for too long. You can ride an ICE-type train from D.C. to New york any day.
      Do you imagine European railroad passengers walk from the train station to their destination? Or American airline passengers for that matter? What does walkability have to do with this?
      You can by a railroad ticket anywhere and just step aboard your train. No TSA song-and-dance. Speculating on what Congress might or might not do is pure foolishness.
      Love to see a citation for those environmental studies. Could you provide such?
      We are not talking about taking high-speed rail from Dallas to Waco. We’re talking point-to-point major cities. The kind of thing the airlines does. But with more comfort, cheaper fares, and less hassle.

  • AggieFootball97

    Is says nothing about using government money…

  • Carmen Arif

    YEEEEEEEEESSSSSSS!!!!!!!! The sooner the better!!! Let’s get it done and up and running in 1 year not 10.

  • Kelli

    I would totally ride this! I hate that drive to Houston and now that all my family is there I go to Houston at least once a month or every couple of months. I would love this so I did not have to drive each time and this would save on wear to the car!!! As long as ticket prices aren’t crazy high!

  • Bobby Goldstein

    just raise the speed limit get rid of the cops in leon county.

  • Lewis Grace

    Good point about security. I wonder how long it will be before you need to be screened to board a bus or a taxi? Isn’t that the logical progression? But we digress…

  • Brian Ullrich

    Totally agree

  • Brian Ullrich

    No airline-like TSA security on Amtrak, nor the bus lines. Unless this becomes a target, I don’t that happening.

  • CentralTexasFTW

    In order to get people to ride it, it’ll have to look like a truck. Nobody in Texas drives anywhere unless it’s in a huge, white pickup truck.

    At least they’ve got huge and white…

  • Jackson

    Back in the late ’80s, Texas sniffed at high-speed rail. The legislature set up the “Texas High-Speed Rail Authority” to investigate the possibility, and after legal presentations by three international consortiums, Hearing Examiner Larry Montgomery weighed the plans and one was chosen. The legislature never funded and the movement died. I and wise Texans were all for it, but Southwest Airlines and their then-grand poobah Herb Kelleher opposed, and they had juice and were only regional and so felt threatened. Today, as a national carrier, they couldn’t care less. Commenters to this blog entry who poo-poo the notion of high-speed rail between the large Texas metropolitan centers are either young and clueless, or more likely old and clueless. A pity we didn’t get it going in the late ’80s/early ’90s. The infrastructure costs today are exponentially higher than they’d have been 25 years ago, but that’s hardly a reason to keep our heads in the sand.

  • Julianna

    As someone who has taken the Amtrak cross-country, major hubs (Dallas is not one for Amtrak), like Chicago, LA, San Antonio, there is security with metal detectors and random bag checks. But I think this will still be a good alternative to flying and driving.

  • A 99 percenter

    The reason it hasn’t already happened here, in California , the northeast corridor, etc. is because certain corporations don’t want it to. Wich ones? Ask yourself who would lose out to having a clean, efficient mass transit system? The answer is simple when you follow the money.

    • Bill Marvel

      99 percenter – it HAS happened in the northeast corridor. Opewn your eyes. Amtrak os beating the airlines day in and day out.

  • Frank N Stein

    KLAATU BARADA NIKTO!

  • AntWare

    DFW-Austin-SA-Houston-DFW Triangle. With drive on/drive off capability, ala the Chunnel.

    • Cheese

      Now you’re talking. Besides the drive-on convenience, you have your car to get you around at the other end.

  • Dan Kerr

    Wow – folks sure have short memories. This was researched ad-hominim back in the late 1990’s. The Texas High Speed Rail Commission tanked this with Ben Barnes and Ann Richards. This is dejavue for sure.

    • derfrenreb

      Using big words in the wrong context and meaning does not make you look more intelligent.

  • Dan Kerr

    Hey Bill – you might want to settle a little. This was proposed back in Ann Richards day. It went no where and cost a lot of people a lot of money and time. Can’t figure how any company has been a “for profit” on this since it has been a no go for over a decade. Remember the Texas Supercollider project. I mapped all of this out back then.

  • Patrick Byrd

    Clearly, the bullet train just needs to serve kolaches.

    This is such a no brainer and so needs to be done but they’re gonna do a study? Let me know when they break ground.

    Also, SWA – get behind this, become a part of the solution and don’t kill it with your lobbying like you did before.

  • TAD42

    I drive between Houston and DFW at least twice a month. Something like this would be a Godsend! My only concern would be car parking. I don’t want to leave my car in some random parking lot at one of the stations for 2 weeks at a time.

  • Marlin-El Williams

    I would Say bring it on and I can’t wait when they build one for Louisiana and Georgia ,Missippi.

  • kris

    Dallas to Austin or San Antonio would be nice!!

    • Cheese

      Yes, because both of those cities are places that someone might actually want to go to.

  • CSP

    Do any of you advocates of building this realize that the latest cost estimate for California’s yet-to-be-built-because-it’s-actually-pretty-much-near-impossible-to-build hi-speed rail system is $68 BILLION?!?

    • Bill Marvel

      Yes. So?

  • Chance Tomlinson

    It says the federal gov will team up with tx dot. That means the Feds will put a carrot full of money in front of tx dot and say you do some other ridiculous things we want and we’ll give you this money for your train project.

  • Patricia Marez

    THAT WOULD BE WONDERFUL, WISH THEY COULD GET IT GOING SOONER THAN 10 YEARS !!!

  • Chance Tomlinson

    I’m 20 min north of Dallas. I can easily be in Houston in 4 hours. Usually I can make it in 3.5. If I take this down there it would be 20 min to get to the station, 30 min at least to get parked and on the train, 90 min to get to Houston and then another 30 once I get there to get a rental car. So it realistically will take me 3 hours to get there. I just don’t see the advantage.

    The trains are great in Europe because their major towns weren’t built around the automobile like most of ours were. I use train travel when I visit Europe and am not against the method of transportation. I just don’t see the point here and I travel from Dallas to Houston a lot. If all my business in Houston was centrally located downtown then yeah it could be great but it isn’t.

    • A. B.

      1.5 hours of the 3 to get there could be spent on work stuff if there is wifi on the trains. I agree on the difference between European cities and Dallas/Houston. In Europe when you get off a train you are usually in the center of a city and near all sorts of reliable public transportation to get you exactly where you need to be without having to rent a car or hail a cab.

  • tmac

    Klyde Warren is used ALL THE TIME. I live right near it… it is always packed. Agreed about DART but Klyde Warren is absolutely a great community investment.

  • CSP

    Yes, because opponents like me who’ve paid attention to California’s unsuccessful-thus-far efforts to build a hi-speed rail system for $68 BILLION are “clueless,” regardless of age.

  • Herp Derpington

    Curious, do you feel the same way about the GOVERNMENT FUNDED U.S. highway system?

  • A. B.

    Will our trains have Pikachu on them, too?

  • vc25AEMP

    Last I heard, SWA had quietly said they won’t fight it this time around. They will probably want to put some of those DAL-HOU-DAL airplanes on other routes when the Wright Amendment expires in October, anyway.

  • Avid Reader

    So…we’re back to this old idea. Let the money-wasted counter begin.

  • Derek Atkinson

    I have been hearing about something like this for 20+ years now. I like the “idea” but I don’t think it’s economical. Most likely it will be a money pit.

  • Artstrada

    I laugh when I see the posts by the people who say “high speed rail never works” or “the horse cannot be replaced by the car” or “if god wanted us to fly he would have gave us bird wings” .. they are funny posts.

  • Chance Tomlinson

    With the deadly and idiotic hov lanes on 75 in mind… Yes.

  • fi_junky

    I for one, will be riding this train. My kids live down in the Houston area with their mother and I visit them every other weekend. This train is going to be a nice time saver and make it a lot easier for me to bring my kids back to Dallas for the weekend so they can see their extended family.

  • mav

    That was sarcasm. Tons of people ride DART

  • Yvonne Allen

    This would be great! I have family and friends that live in Houston. I live in Dallas and I frequent Houston often. I know alot of people who would utilize this service. I lived in DC and they have a similiar system that runs up and down the east coast and brings folks into DC as commuters for work. I think this is well overdue.

  • Bill Marvel

    Strange conclusion, Common, because the only place in the U.S. where there is anything like high-speed rail passenger service on the European model is the Northwest Corridor, Washington-New York-Boston — roughly the equivalent of Dallas-Houston. And it’s full all the time. Three times the number of passengers daily as the airlines.

  • Bill Marvel

    It went nowhere because Southwest Airlines fought it tooth and claw. Don’t understand your Supecollider argument. Did you imagine the trains would run in huge tunnels??

  • Bill Marvel

    Senator — Your hunch is wrong. Security at railroad stations on the corridor — Washington-New York- Boston — is not even remotely like the airline terminal dance. Folks basically get their tickets and walk on board the train.

  • Bill Marvel

    ‘killed by Gov Ann Richards”
    With considerable encouragement from SWA.

  • Bill Marvel

    You don’t have to go to Europe to ride an ICE train, Senator. They’re running on the northeast corridor every day.
    Don’t understand your walkability argument. Do you imagine European railroad passengers walk from the station to their destinations? hotel, Has Europe not developed cabs?
    Any speculation about what Congress might or might not do is pure foolishness.
    Could we have some citations for those “multiple studies”? Be useful to carry on this discussion.

  • Bill Marvel

    “ad hominim”?????

  • Bill Marvel

    “nobody,” Common? “Never works?”
    Daily ridership on the northeast Washington-New York-Boston corridpr — the closest equivaece to Dallas-Houston — is greater than airline ridership between those cities.

  • Bill Marvel

    It was proposed in Ann Richards day and fought tooth and claw by Southwest Airlines. That’s the principle reason it failed.

  • Bill Marvel

    No such security on the northeast corridor, Senator. You buy your ticket, pass through a metal detector, and walk on board. No shoes-off, empty-your-pockets, step into the little room ritual. Why would Dallas-Houston be any different?

  • csnsc

    Just having come back from europe and taking the train between london and paris – I would love to do the same in Texas. I have gone between NY and DC many times on day trips on the slow acela and a high speed option will only be good for commerce. As for SWA, which had always been on the forefront of a lot of things. First has lost a little bit of the innovative spirit, but also could follow the likes of VIrgin and get into the rail game if they want.

  • Bill Marvel

    Chance — the point is, we can’t continue to build our cities “around the automobile.” Surely you’ve noticed the traffic jams as you motor from Dallas to Houston and back? Or do you schedule your driving to avoid them? With a train you don’t have to do that.

  • Jackson

    The Texas High-Speed Rail Authority was set up by the legislature in the late ’80s. Ann Richards wasn’t even yet Governor when the legislature started this ball rolling. And she had nothing to do with killing it, either. Three international consortia vied for the right to build it at a cost of $5 billion, with no tax money per state law. Finding the money proved impossible as the Texas economy was in the toilet at the time and a key member of the winning consortium, Morrison-Knudsen, began having financial problems under its CEO William Agee. Southwest Airlines also bogged it down in various courts of law.

  • CSP

    That’s an obscene amount of money. I would be shocked if cost estimates for a Texas light rail system didn’t eventually reach similarly obscene levels. If $68 billion doesn’t concern you, what dollar figure would?

  • Bill Marvel

    Obviously,i mean Northeast Corridor.There IS a northwest corridor. It’s not really high speed and it’s still proving itself.

  • B Amanda Friedensohn

    I would definitely use it quite often since several of my best friends are in Houston and I am in DFW, and if they were to do a line from DFW to either San An or Austin I would be thrilled!

  • Somebodysgottapayforthat
  • Matt

    DART

  • Tom Laswell

    The Chez-Stop can cater

  • Maria Zahorchak-Miller

    I really hope this would happen. It would be a major convenience.

  • Viola Porter

    I will………. my sister live south of Houston.

  • Robin

    I think at least Austin to Dallas, with cooperating from Wesr, Texas we could “hook” some kolaches as we zip by.

  • LimboLizard .

    Gee, we can’t let them ol’ Californians out boondoggle us. Let’s build us a $100 billion empty train, too!

  • LimboLizard .

    Gee, we cain’t let them ol’ Californians out boondoggle us Texans, can we? Let’s build us a $100 billion empty train, too! Heck, it’s worth it, if only ’cause we get to go all eminent domain on a 250 mile stretch of helpless private property owners. Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac, and even more so, if it’s government power.

  • Brian Dusek

    Could it work like a ferry boat? You know, let us transport our cars with us, so we can get around, once we’re there?

    • Antarr Byrd

      That would be a hyper-loop

  • Nou

    Incorrect. Not funded, Supplemented in contingency with 21+ Minimum Drinking age laws.

  • NavyMom1123

    If a “for profit” company is going to own it, let the “for profit” company build it with their own money and not my money. I no longer live in Texas and will never use it!

  • elpaso45

    Actually, this is a major fail. Just look at what’s happening in California. There is NO public transportation system in the world that is self supporting. Best example is Amtrak, which keeps borrowing money from the feds. The project will go over budget, beat up on property rights, and fares will NOT be able to pay a profit to the company. Don’t be taken by this scam.

  • Antarr Byrd

    With all the Oil money in Texas the chances are slim.

  • Earl

    Heaven forbid the state of TX catch up to the the rest of the US. First thing anyone from the West Coast or the Northeast or the Midwest take notice of when visiting here in TX is how far behind we are on basic infrastructure items. All this fuss over one light rail when cities like NY, and Chicago have had subways, trains, and Elevated trains for almost 100 years. While here in this great state our land mass footprint is massive, yet the best way to travel is still plane or car. Seems like limited imagination, thingking, and ability to embrace the future still rules the south

  • Chance Tomlinson

    Driving from Boston to NYC or DC to NYC is a much different experience than Dallas to Houston. Just because something works well in one area doesn’t mean it will in another. If Texas wants to spend a lot of our money on this project they need to do a better job at selling the need and advantages of this idea. I am one that frequents Houston from Dallas several times a month for business so I think people like myself are the target market and I’m just not seeing it. I was in Germany this past summer and I’d much rather see an autobahn built with strict enforcement of the rules (no trucks in left lane, no driving in left lane if not passing, etc.)

    I like high speed rail but I just don’t see it justifying the cost. I’d much rather the time and money be put into 45 and 35. The construction on both those highways goes at a snails pace. I don’t want a tollway to replace them but the tollway builders do so much better at getting a road built.

    From your comments you sound like you’ve got a dog in the fight…

  • Cicada

    Never happen in Teabagistan (Texas), where ignorance has triumphed over knowledge, reason has been replaced with ideology, and compassion is derided as weakness.

  • Jeff Duncan

    I just wonder how many people’s land they are going to take to make this happen…? How many people are going to be forced off their land, land that I am sure in a lot of cases has been in the family for generations. Then to top it off will more than likely be built by another country not helping our own people…

  • James50

    It makes complete sense to me. It would open up your employment opportunities in both cites. You could live in Dallas and work in Houston or vice versa.

  • emilyb

    This would be amazing!

  • Adrienne LaCava

    Yes! If only… I’ve been told the 3 airlines that HQ in Texas lobby against this all the time. SW, Continental, AA. That’s a shame too. I say involve them in funding and development, let them become transportation giants. Terminal at the airport for rental car convenience, etc. but also stop downtown because all of Texas’ major cities are evolving toward walkability in the CBD. I think this would greatly enhance tourism for Texas, too. Visitors wouldn’t have to settle for a one city experience if say they have only a week in the Great State.

  • Scott M Stolz

    If this train started in Houston, and stopped in the Woodlands on the way to Dallas, I would ride it.

  • captaincrunch72

    fuck off and move back to libturdistan.. you’re NOT Texan !!!! go spend someone else’s money..

  • Scott Scott

    Should had high speed trains and local rabbit trains in every major city in the USA, with the rabbits connecting to smaller towns, like that of japan.

  • good ol’ dfw

    I’ll agree with the walkability argument. When I studied abroad in Spain, I took a bus from the airport in Madrid to the rail, took the rail to Sevilla (and there was security getting onto the train, but it was quick to get through), and was able to walk to the hotel and to my host mom’s place. Neither Dallas nor Houston have the same walkability in that sense, but if it was arranged so that something like the Dart line would be available at both ends, I think this issue could be circumvented. Cabs are somewhat expensive. Public transportation can be less so. Plus, If i go down to visit friends, I don’t have to worry about the walkability.

    Also: If I remember correctly, a round trip rail ticket from madrid to Sevilla was significantly cheaper than the round trip flight cost from Dallas to Houston- and Madrid and Sevilla are further apart than Dallas and Houston.

  • Mike Alstatt

    Only about 3 hrs drive. With the 30 min drive to the train station, and 20 min wait for the train to move, you could be 50 min into a beeline drive to Houston. After waits and bus exchanges, you’ve saved no time–FAIL

  • Monte Malone

    Yeah, those interstate highways were all FREE

  • Cheese

    But… who wants to travel to Houston? How about if we start with Dallas to Austin, or Dallas to Denver.

  • Cheese

    Use UberX to get to the station.

  • Cheese

    Misspelling “deja vu” doesn’t help your cause either.