December 22, 2023 - TRA Newswire -

"The Connector" has gotten a boost from the North Central Texas Council of Government's Regional Transportation Council (RTC) with a $1.1 million allocation to scope out and make adjustments to current plans for a high speed rail line between Dallas and Fort Worth.

The Council is planning for future transportation needs and how to connect Dallas-Fort Worth to proposed high speed rail lines that would link the region to both Houston (I-45 corridor) and Austin-San Antonio (I-35 corridor).

The action by the RTC will allow transportation planners to adjust the current study's scope and budget, according to Senior Program Manager Dan Lamers. The planning for the connector started in 2020 and involves a high speed rail line along the I-30 corridor between Fort Worth and Dallas with one stop near Arlington's entertainment district.

The connection project now moves into the NEPA process (National Environmental Policy Act) which is required by law. The million dollar action by the Council will allow NCTCOG staff to make adjustments for the rail alignment and potential changes. The planners will have one year to complete the NEPA phase.

“We are fortunate the Regional Transportation Council is an incredibly diverse and strong group of leaders, guiding the development of multimodal transportation plans and programs in North Central Texas,” said Michael Morris, Director of Transportation for the regional council of governments. “They understand the potential for growth in our dynamic region. Likewise, they know high-speed transportation could benefit the members of our community and increase their quality of life. At the conclusion of the Dallas to Fort Worth high-speed rail study, they will ensure the findings are incorporated into policies that achieve these goals.”

This allocation follows a program grant of up to $500,000 that was awarded to NCTCOG earlier this month for planning the high speed rail project under the Federal Railroad Administration's Corridor Identification and Development Program.  

At the same time the FRA awarded the planning grant to North Texas rail planners, Amtrak received a similar grant for the high-speed rail corridor from Dallas to Houston. 

Graphic credit: NCTCOG