Texas Central high-speed rail project moves forward following RPA approval

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The Federal Railway Administration granted the Rule of Particular Applicability—or RPA—to Texas Central on Sept. 4 regarding the high-speed rail project slated to connect Dallas and Houston, according to a Sept. 4 press release from Texas Central.

This means the high-speed rail project is on track for both FRA actions—the RPA and the environmental permit—to be completed in 2020 with financial close and construction quickly following, according to the release.

RPAs are regulations that apply to a specific railroad or a specific type of operation to ensure a project’s safety, according to FRA information. This action, along with an environmental permit, is required before the project can be implemented.

“The FRA’s action on the Rule of Particular Applicability marks a major milestone in our quest to bring a transformative mobility solution, while minimizing impact on the environment and land use, as opposed to other options,” Texas Central CEO Carlos Aguilar said in the release. “We will meet or exceed all requirements the FRA mandates, to ensure we have the safest high-speed rail system in the world.”

The high-speed rail project will be based on Central Japan Railway’s Tokaido Shinkansen technology, which is the world’s safest mass transportation system, according to the release. It has transported more than 10 billion passengers with no operational passenger fatalities or accidents since its deployment in 1964, the release said.

“Securing [the U.S. Department of Transportation’s]commitment to move forward with the Texas high-speed rail project is a significant win for all Texans, especially those who live in the 12th district, because it will create job opportunities, boost our economy, increase mobility and spur productivity in the lone star state,” said U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, in a separate Sept. 4 press release. “I’m pleased DOT recognized the importance of high speed rail, and am encouraged they will be moving forward with the regulatory process required to advance the project.”

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  1. Texas Central failed to mention on the Legal Record are Five Counties where through court action Texas Central was Denied their Claim to be a RR and had No Survey Rights. With that, they today do not have the Power to Condemn Private Property. Texas Central failed to mention they only have control over around 25% of the Rural ROW Distance, so 75% of that distance is still under the control of Private Landowners who want Nothing to do with Texas Central or their Make Believe Choo Choo. Texas Central failed to mention their Ticket Pricing per their President is to normally be $260-$500 Round Trip for One Person! Yes, they will run specials on ticket pricing but they will be exceptions to the rule. Texas Central failed to mention they have only raised $100M of Private Investor money and along with the money from the Japanese Government (Bank), they have only raised a total of $500M out of a $20B Project. Texas Central failed to mention all of us have known for a long time that the FRA Regulatory Process always included a DEIS/FEIS process, the RPA, and the ROD. But yet they love to place Spin on everything just to fool the Public. This project has a number of regulatory hurdles, must have Land to build the tracks on, and must have the money, and Texas Central is a long way from all three milestones. This is just a Japanese Land Grab and US Taxpayer Money Scam, and is headed to be another California HSR Disaster in the state of Texas if not Stopped.

      • Technically, 沈黙 is a noun. If you want to say Silence, Boomer!, you could say ブーマー、静かにして!

    • Wish they did a better public transportation option to mitigate the traffic jam on I-10 instead. Who benefits from a high speed train between Dallas and Houston!!!

      • Who benefits? The Chinese/Japanese investors along with the token Texans who are on the Texas Central board and puppet politicians but certainly not the property owners along the route. Oh, and don’t think for a moment there will be jobs for Texans or any other American constructing this railway, other than a few token jobs for Americans, the Chinese are known for bringing in their own entire workforce when they do projects. And there will never be enough riders to make this profitable so taxpayers are going to lose big time when we are going to have to subsidize this fiasco when it goes bankrupt. You know, this will be another entity “too big to fail.” Where have we heard that before?
        Think I’m wrong about riders? It takes time to travel to train stations and you must leave early so you don’t miss it, wait for TSA screening, wait for the train to leave and the travel time it takes. Then the train will make a stop or two along the way and once there you will have to wait for transportation; a ride, a taxi, take mass transit or rent a car. All this takes time and effort that

    • Thank you for all the relative details.
      Although I favor public transportation versus more highways, I see no need for this high speed rail mess.
      Too much of the natural environment is destroyed each day in Texas to make way for mostly unnecessary development.
      I hope this project is defeated

  2. Even though the system is “closed” and has no crossings, there is still a risk of derailment and crashes. This is due to the extreme temperatures found in Texas which can cause track heat buckling. Yes, it is hot in Japan, sometimes, but not as hot as Texas, and the Texas heat is of a longer duration. This issue will only get worse due to global warming, whether man-made or nature-made. Also, tornadoes are a problem for this train as well. Neither of these issues have been deal with by Texas Central. Also Houston is getting the shaft with the 290 Alignment and the choice of Northwest Mall as the terminus. Hardly the first sight you want to see when coming to Houston for the first time, a mess of highways and the HISD HQ plus the massive parking garage planned for the actual terminus. Or, if Japan actually put its money on the line, it would pay the extra 6 Billion and put the terminus where it belongs, in Downtown Houston, or just outside of Downtown Houston. This way it would be centrally located to the other areas of the MSA and you would see the CBD and be close to the George R. Brown. In Dallas the terminus will be near their convention center close to Downtown. Why can’t Houston have this? Bring the train down the Hardy Toll Rd. and use the planned 45 Expansion to put the terminus either in EADO or at the old Post Office or near there. Unfortunately Mathews Real Estate wants to own their site and profit from station development, so they are insisting on Northwest Mall, the armpit of Houston.

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Kara McIntyre
Kara started with Community Impact Newspaper as the summer intern for the south Houston office in June 2018 after graduating with a bachelor's degree in mass communication from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. She became the Tomball/Magnolia reporter in September 2018. Prior to CI, Kara served as the editor-in-chief of The Wichitan—Midwestern State University's student-run campus newspaper—and interned with both the Wichita Adult Literacy Council and VeepWorks.
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