September 19, 2018 - TRA Comment -
Here's the story from the Dallas Morning News this week:
A competitor of the company trying to build a Dallas-to-Houston bullet-train connection has blasted the notion that a high-speed rail line can be built without public money. "The whole thing is just a dream," said Alain Leray, president of SNCF America, the Maryland-based arm of the French national railway company. "It's not going to happen on private financing."
So Texas Central, the privately-owned company that is intent on building the high speed line without state or federal handouts is now joined by the privately-owned Brightline of Miami that recently opened the first leg of its Miami-Orlando passenger line to rave reviews. Then this week Brightline announced it will build it's second express intercity passenger rail connection between Southern California and Las Vegas.
Last week Texas Central Partners announced they have obtained a $300 million loan to allow the company to finish the design, engineering and get pre-construction tasks underway.
If our math is correct, that would be three passenger rail corridors, built and operated by two private concerns. No government handouts.
Scott Dunaway, spokesperson for SNCF America, in a statement Tuesday said "Nowhere in the world have high-speed rail projects become reality without government participation."
Maybe SNCF needs to put some skin in the game before downgrading the competition.