(Houston--Wendy Siegle, KUHF) Texas has secured $15 million dollars in federal funds for the development of a proposed high-speed rail line from Houston to Dallas. The money will pay for environmental and engineering studies of the corridor, which is identified as one of the most viable route in the Texas Rail Plan.
The amount is a tiny fraction of the $2.2 billion the US DOT awarded in grants for 22 rail projects across 15 states.
But Bill Glavin, the director of the Texas Department of Transportation’s (TxDOT) rail division, says he was gratified, “. . . that the Federal Rail Administration (FRA) has recognized the progress [the state] has made over the past year.” He says Texas has made a lot of headway in developing a “unified vision” of what its passenger rail network should look like. Texas has routinely missed out on high speed rail money in the past, snagging only tiny portions of the overall pot.
The grant, Glavin stresses, means TxDOT is “one step closer to being able to implement high speed rail in the state.” But he cautions that there’s “still a long road ahead of us.” He points out that that it could be more than a decade before passengers will be able to board a train in Houston and travel to Dallas at 150 mph.
More than 90 applications were sent to the FRA, totaling about $10 billion dollars in requests for rail projects.
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