Feds greenlight Dallas-Houston bullet train; construction slated to begin in 2021

Feds greenlight Dallas-Houston bullet train; construction set to begin in 2021

DALLAS — The nation’s first high-speed rail line inched closer to reality Monday after the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration gave its final approval for a bullet train between Dallas and Houston in Texas.

Carlos Aguilar, the CEO of Texas Central Railroad, called the approval “the moment we have been working towards,” WFAA reported.

“[The approval] by the Federal Railroad Administration represents years of work by countless individuals, affirming a very thorough and careful federal regulatory process that will make the Texas Central Railroad the first high-speed rail system to be implemented in the United States," Aguilar said in a prepared statement.

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The FRA approval consists of two parts: the final Rule of Particular Applicability and the Record of Decision.

According to WFAA, the Rule of Particular Applicability creates the regulatory framework and safety requirements for the high-speed rail system, while the Record of Decision is the official environmental approval that also selects the path that the Texas Central tracks will follow between Dallas and Houston.

Texas Central anticipates beginning construction in the first half of 2021, but the federal Surface Transportation Board must still approve the project before it can proceed, The Texas Tribune reported.

The six-year, $20 billion project will incorporate the same technology as the Shinkansen bullet trains in Japan, which can reach speeds of more than 200 mph, meaning travelers could make the Dallas-Houston trek in about 90 minutes, the Tribune reported.

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