SocraticGadfly: Texas high-speed rail: Teriffic, or turkey?

November 19, 2018

Texas high-speed rail: Teriffic, or turkey?

The Texas Trib has a half-good story about the problems facing high-speed rail between Dallas and Houston. It's half-bad, though, in that it never mentions HSR backers are choosing the wrong route, and should be following Texas 6 from Houston to Waco, then I-35, rather than following I-45.

Brains and I are had a back and forth on a post of his, and I eventually decided to break this out into a new blog post. He's right that the current folks have this specific route set; I can still call a turkey a turkey, though.

And, I've called it a turkey, or potentially so, since the initial route discussions began, when I saw it leaning this way.

In addition, while I've criticized California's HSR plans for having too many stations too close, adding just one, for Waco, doesn't seem dumb, especially if you've got one already planning allegedly for College Station but actually 30 miles away, and also allegedly going to serve Sam Houston State and the rest of Huntsville. [One wonders who holds land near that area. If Texas HSR followed something like the Cal plan, Huntsville would have a spur line, fast but not real HSR, built to either College Station or Houston. Or the Woodlands — Cal HSR will have stops in both LA and Anaheim; a Woodlands stop in greater Helltown might me more smart than dumb, as a parallel.] Beyond that, specifics of the Dallas and Houston terminals are dumb enough this project is going to be a turkey for those reasons too, IMO. The Trib notes the Houston stop is a mile from a bus station and nowhere near light rail; the Dallas stop (admirably on the south side of the Trinity) is a 15-minute walk from light rail. In addition, I'm not sure how well this will connect, or be connected to, the T, to have some sort of link to Fort Worth.

More talk from me in the past here, and more from Brains here.

The latest on California's HSR building progress and setbacks here.

And, that piece is a biggie. While Texas won't have the same amount of legal delays, it will still have some. They're going to delay it and add to the price. Since this is all-private, unlike California, will they be prepared?

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