Business executive, entrepreneur and former Houston Astros owner Drayton McLane has been named to the Texas Central Partners board of directors, the company announced yesterday.
Texas Central is the developer behind the proposed high-speed bullet train from Houston to Dallas. The appointment of McLane was announced as developers plan to enter the engineering and construction phase.
“We have a strong leadership foundation in place and couldn’t be more pleased to have Drayton join us as the high-speed train moves forward,” Board Chairman Richard Lawless said in a statement. “He brings insightful perspectives thanks to his business expertise and passionate commitment to helping Texans deal with today’s complicated transportation needs.”
Officials claim the high-speed rail would be able to transport riders from Houston to Dallas in 90 minutes on trains that would reach speeds up to 200 miles per hour. It would also feature a stop in College Station. Texas Central said it will not take federal or state grants to build or operate the $12 billion project, which will be funded with private investments.
McLane—who serves as the chairman of the McLane Group, a holding company with entities in the global logistics, technology and food production industries—said he thinks the new transportation system is a necessity as populations in both cities continue to grow.
“The bullet train is transformational to Texas, and ranks as one of the most visionary solutions to future transportation challenges our state faces,” McLane said in a statement. “The safety, productivity and reliability of a high-speed train is a perfect fit for Texans looking for a better option than traffic-clogged highways or the hassles of airline travel.”
The high-speed train recently made news after appearing on a list of nationwide infrastructure projects being considered for support by the Donald Trump administration. The project would reportedly create 40,000 jobs over its four-year construction timeline.