August 28, 2013

Is high-speed rail closer to coming to Texas?

The Dallas Morning News says yes, with word that North Texas über-insider Tom Schieffer has become an adviser to the Texas Central High-Speed Railway, a proposed private bullet-train line between Dallas and Houston.

The Snooze notes this about the former ambassador to Japan:
The Japan part of Schieffer’s résumé is key: The Texas-based company is affiliated with the Central Japan Railway, a leader in rail technology and operator of the bullet train that serves Tokyo and Osaka.
Yep. Despite touting of China's recent (shoddy) bullet train construction, Japan is probably still ground zero on where to look for engineering, routing and other ideas.

This sounds smarter than waiting on driblets of federal funds for high-speed rail, given wingnut opposition to Obama's push, and other issues.

It also sounds smart to focus on Dallas-Houston, rather than looking at the whole Texas Triangle.

And, per company president Robert Eckles, a former Harris County judge, it sounds like the path of the train likely would NOT follow I-45.
“This train doesn’t perform well if you have to stop it many times," Eckels said. "It works great if you stop it midway, maybe up at College Station, maybe a couple of other places.”
Given that Aggieville is on Texas 6, which splits off I-35 at Waco, a Waco stop near Baylor makes sense. And none other.

You could run a couple of "express" routes with no intermediate stops and a couple of nonexpress routes with those two stops added. Those trains would have a stop every 90 or so miles. You don't want anything shorter than that.

Now, this is all years, years, away, but, there's smart thinking, it sounds like.

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