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The Hyperloop vs. the Texas Bullet Train

Comparing and contrasting the two high-tech train systems proposed for the state.

Ground transportation to and from a few of the most populous cities in Texas could soon be much faster and easier, thanks to two new proposed train systems. One, called the Hyperloop, is a futuristic, subsonic train system that would hurtle passengers inside a pressurized tube across a track levitated by magnets. Texas is one of several places “short-listed” for Virgin Hyperloop One, the most feasible version of the scheme, which was originally envisioned by Tesla’s Elon Musk. The other new transportation alternative, the Texas Bullet Train, is a privately funded, high-speed rail line. Backers say its Dallas-Houston route is taken by nearly 50,000 commuters more than once a week. While it’s not clear yet whether either train will materialize in Texas—the bullet-train plan is much further along—both have made great strides in recent years.    

Virgin Hyperloop One

Distance: 640 miles

Cities Connected: Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio and Austin

Speed: Up to 700 mph. Dallas to Houston in 46 minutes

Notable Sponsors: Richard Branson

Funding: Virgin Group, DP World Group, Sherpa Capital

Cost: Undisclosed

Target Date for Operation: 2021


Texas Bullet Train

Texas Bullet Train

Distance: 240 miles

Cities Connected: Dallas and Houston

Speed: More than 200 mph. Dallas to Houston in 90 minutes

Notable Sponsors: Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlins

Funding: Texas Central Partners

Cost: $15 billion

Target Date for Operation: 2023


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