May 10, 2024 - TRA Newswire -

Ever since Amtrak's Senior VP for High-Speed Rail, Andy Byford, spoke at the Southwestern Rail Conference last month and indicated the company is interested in the work that Texas Central had completed to date in the Dallas-Houston bullet train project, there has been increased chatter at the state and federal level.

"We want to bring high-speed rail to the U.S.,” said Byford during the rail conference in Hurst, Texas. “It is a system that is safely used in just about every other developed country of the world, except for the U.S.”

U.S. Representative Colin Allred, who serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, met this week with Japanese Minister Ishigaki to discuss moving forward on the Texas Central project. The 240-mile long high-speed line woud use proven Japanese train technology. 

Allred, in a statement said "Since I first came to Congress, I’ve been working with both parties to make sure that high-speed rail comes to Texas. As a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I know that connecting Dallas and Houston by high-speed rail would have an enormous economic impact on our state, creating jobs and allowing our local economies to flourish. A key part of bringing this project to North Texas is fostering the relationship with Japan–where high-speed rail technology is developed." 

Allred indicated that he helped secure funding, and fight to cut red tape as the project continues to move forward.

"The high-speed rail project is good for business, and good for North Texans", according to Allred. "It would open up job opportunities and travel between our state’s two biggest cities, shortening the trip to just 90 minutes. High-speed trains use the technology of the future, and I am so excited to help Texas lead the nation and move this project forward."

Amtrak's Byford said that now is the time to start building for better transportation options in Texas. "The alternate is to condemn Americans to ever-more crowded interstates, to condemn taxpayers to just paying for ever-widening of highways."  If Amtrak can manage to get the Texas high-speed rail line up and running, it will kick start even more rail projects across the U.S., according to Byford. 

Chatter about intercity high-speed rail has been buoyed by recent news of the groundbreaking of Brightline West's high-speed rail line between Las Vegas and the Los Angeles area which is a public-private partnership and the success of ridership increases on the Brightline Florida line between Miami and Orlando International Airport.