A proposal for a bullet train between Dallas and Fort Worth along the I-30 corridor is still in the works as plans advance to the environmental permitting phase, but Hyperloop considerations for the corridor are out.
A Hyperloop could still be considered for another area in the region, as officials say companies are interested in building the technology there. The autonomous, electric-powered transportation technology, however, has not advanced far enough to determine its safety; whereas, the high-speed rail technology has, officials say.
The National Environmental Policy Act process for high-speed rail, via bullet train that can travel at over 200 mph, is expected to take two years, according to Brendon Wheeler, principal transportation planner for the Regional Transportation Council of the North Central Texas Council of Governments.
The Regional Transportation Council unanimously approved starting the NEPA process for the high-speed rail, which would be built alongside I-30, with three stations: in Dallas, Fort Worth and midway in Arlington’s entertainment district.
North Central Texas Council of GovernmentsThe environmental study will focus on the train’s potential impact on air quality, noise, wetlands, wildlife, water crossings, neighborhoods and businesses.
“This will be a continuation of a comprehensive study to ensure high-speed transportation between Dallas and Fort Worth has a limited and/or mitigated environmental impact,” said Michael Morris, director of transportation for the North Central Texas Council of Governments. “The public will continue to have significant opportunity to view the proposals and comment on what they like and where there could be challenges.”
The proposed train system would connect with a proposed high-speed rail system linking Dallas and Houston. That train would make the trip in 90 minutes, according to the Texas Central Railroad, its developer. The company estimates it will take five to six years to build the system, at an estimated cost of $20 billion, after it receives all of its pre-construction contracts.
The trains would be similar to those that run between Tokyo and Osaka, Japan, the company says. They would have eight cars instead of the 16 in Japan and hold up to 400 passengers.
A $16 billion contract was signed last year between Texas Central and Italy-based Webuild Group, whose subsidiaries include Lane Construction, to design and build the 236-mile high-speed rail system between Dallas and Houston.