DALLAS -- Railway operator JR Tokai and an American partner will petition federal regulators to set new rules allowing an ultrahigh-speed line here to be built to Japanese bullet train specifications.
The roughly 400km line connecting Dallas and Houston would meet the same standards used by the Tokaido Shinkansen running between Tokyo and Osaka. That line is operated by JR Tokai, formally known as Central Japan Railway. A three- to four-hour trip by car between the two cities in Texas would take less than 90 minutes on shinkansen bullet trains with a top speed of 320kph. Texas Central Partners, the company steering the enterprise, is plotting out the route and wooing investors. JR Tokai will set up a unit by year-end to lend the project technical support. In the U.S., high-speed trains use the same tracks as freight cars and conventional passenger trains. There are no dedicated tracks for high-speed service. Regulations mandate strong, heavy rail cars to minimize casualties from collisions.