JUST IN: Texas Central signs design-build contract with civil engineering firm Salini Impregilo


Editor’s note: This story has been updated to clarify the difference between Texas Central’s Sept. 13 announcement about a design-build contract with Salini Impregilo and an October 2018 announcement about a limited-notice-to-proceed agreement with Salini Impregilo. 

Days after being granted the Rule of Particular Applicability by the Federal Railway Administration, Texas Central announced Sept. 13 having signed a design-build agreement with civil engineering firms Salini Impregilo and Lane Construction Company to build the high-speed train. Lane Construction is the U.S. subsidiary of Salini.

According to a Sept. 13 news release from Texas Central, the agreement means Salini-Lane will design and construct an estimated $14 billion of civil works, which includes the viaduct—which elevates the track across land—and embankment sections along the Houston-to-Dallas route, the track system, and all buildings and services that will house maintenance and other rail system equipment along the route.

“This agreement brings us one step closer to beginning construction of the civil infrastructure segments of the project,” Texas Central CEO Carlos Aguilar said in the release. “Salini-Lane’s unmatched track record with rail infrastructure, and very specifically its world-class high-speed rail expertise across the globe, will be central to the completion of America’s first end-to-end high-speed rail system.”

Texas Central announced in October 2018 a limited-notice-to-proceed agreement had been made with Salini Impregilo, since which time Salini-Lane has continued its design and planning efforts for the rail infrastructure, according to a statement from Texas Central.

“Since last year’s Limited Notice to Proceed agreement, Salini-Lane has focused on front-end engineering, design and planning of the train’s civil infrastructure. Services included optimizing execution plans, strategies and logistics, as well as performing analysis to develop and optimize construction costs and schedule estimates. That work helped to develop this design-build contract [announced Sept. 13],” a statement on Texas Central’s website reads.

According to the release, Salini has built more than 4,000 miles of rail infrastructure spanning 50 countries.

“This inclusion in bringing high-speed train service to Texas and America, through leading the project’s design and construction, is an invaluable experience,” said Pietro Salini, CEO of the Salini Impregilo Group in the release.

Texas Central’s high-speed train is estimated to be a $20 billion investment when completed, according to the release. The high-speed train will connect Dallas and Houston, giving riders a 90-minute trip with a third stop in the Brazos Valley.

“With increasing congestion on our highways and airways, it is important that we look at alternative modes of transportation,” said Robin Kemper, president of the American Society of Civil Engineers, in the release.

Share this story
  1. I really hope this project does not happen. It will ruin Northwest Harris County and the Houston terminus is in a terrible location.
    Northwest Mall is impossible to access and is the armpit of Houston. 290 Alignment is a dangerous one with too many curves and geometrically wrong — why not use the Hardy /45 option?

  2. Ms Lotz, I hope you were taught in journalism school to report both sides in order to be objective. This article was mostly biased in favor of TCR, who does NOT yet have its coveted RPA. The process has only just started. If we opponents to HS Rail are successful, the RPA will never be completed. Please review the facts, as provided by TAHSR. TCR is not known for their truthfulness. This boondoggle will do nothing to alleviate the alleged traffic between Dallas & Houston.

  3. Yes!!!! I cannot wait for this to be completed. I will be a regular rider. I make this trip very often to visit family and frankly its annoyingly long. I live right next to the Houston terminus too. This is perfect

  4. I am still waiting for Impact to report BOTH sides of the argument and status of this Japanese Land Grab and US Taxpayer Money Scam Project. Maybe I should not wait for Credible Journalism with Integrity? This article fails to mention Texas Central today does not possess Eminent Domain power to acquire the required land. 75% of the Rural ROW Distance is filled with Landowners who want nothing to do with Texas Central. The reporter fails to mention that because of three court cases as of TODAY, two Summary Judgments and one Full Trial, that Five Rural Counties represent Denial of Texas Central’s Claims to be a RR and without Survey Rights, therefore, no Eminent Domain power. The Full Trial case is being appealed which will take a while. Texas Central has raised on $500M out of a $19B-20B Project! So Texas Central will have to receive approval on the FRA FEIS, RPA, and the ROD which is not scheduled until mid 2020, plus has to receive STB approval. The Houston location is the worst and will do nothing but add traffic to what is already a very busy intersection of highways 9 miles out of downtown Houston. Again, without the land, this environmentally destructive uneconomic Land Grab Japanese and US Taxpayer Funded Project (US RR LOANS that will be defaulted on at bankruptcy with the Japanese getting all the Assets) is nothing more than a Choo, Choo, to Nowhere! Make no mistake, the Landowners across most of the 240 miles are going to fight this project until there is no longer a fight. So I would not be preparing to purchase any of those $270-$500 RT Tickets, per the Texas Central President, anytime soon!

  5. 9/19 cost: $14 billion
    actual cost when project is abandoned: ??
    No chance this comes in on budget if they ever get it off the ground. They talk “low” numbers then things get blown out like a government contract.
    Ms. Lotz needs to go back to school and learn how to fully report a story.

Leave A Reply

Anna Lotz
Anna joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in May 2016 after graduating with a degree in journalism from Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio. In July 2017, she transitioned to editor. Anna covers education, local government, transportation, business, real estate development and nonprofits in the Tomball and Magnolia communities. Prior to CI, Anna served as editor-in-chief of Cedars, interned with the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C., and spent time writing for the Springfield News-Sun and Xenia Daily Gazette.
Back to top