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$5.9B TX Bullet Train Deal Inked

Thursday, March 5, 2020

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Recently, Madrid-based freight and passenger train operator Renfe Operadora announced that it has signed an agreement with a United States rail developer for a new high-speed track.

Entering the preliminary agreement stage, the $5.9 billion deal with Texas Central includes work for the design, build and operation of the high-speed rail linking Houston and Dallas, Texas.

About the Project

The bullet train, projected to run 200 mph, will be able to cross 240 miles in 90 minutes between Dallas and Houston. The span will also include a stop in Brazos Valley, Texas, serving A&M University.

Back in September, Texas Central Partners announced that it had signed a deal with Italian civil engineering contractor Salini Impregilo and its U.S. subsidiary Lane Construction Corporation. Working together, Salini-Lane will work on the civil and infrastructure parts of the project.

The design-build agreement revolves around the installation of the civil infrastructure and track system, along with related buildings and services. Thus far, station plans include a 60-acre Dallas stop south of the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center and a 45-acre multi-level train complex on the Northwest Mall site in Houston. Civil works for the project were slated to cost $14 billion at the time.

As reported by Urban Transport News, Renfe has been given roughly $311 million for the design and construction of the infrastructure. However, operations and maintenance of the line (taking place from 2026-42) are expected to bring in another $5.6 billion.

Additionally, over the next 25 years, reports claim that the endeavor will generate $36 billion in statewide economic benefits and is expected to create 10,000 jobs per year during peak construction and 1,500 permanent jobs once completed. TCP noted in June 2018 that the project was slated to bring in $3 billion in state and local tax revenue by 2040, as well as $36 billion in direct spending.

The train itself will be designed based off the Central Japan Railway’s Tokaido Skinkansen train system, according to Texas Central.

Construction is slated to begin this year and is expected to take place over the next five to six years. Officials expect the rail line to be fully operational by 2026.

Other High-Speed Projects

Back in March, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission approved a $2 million contract with Los Angeles-based engineering and construction firm AECOM for a hyperloop study.

The study would explore the possibility of constructing a hyperloop that would connect Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, with a leg to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. The journey from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, via the Pennsylvania Turnpike, is roughly five hours.

That summer, the government of Maharashtra, located in India, announced the development of a hyperloop as a public infrastructure project, and has named Virgin Hyperloop One as one of the original project proponents.

Also, in September, Virgin Trains USA was gearing up to connect a high-speed train between Las Vegas and Southern California after a series tax-related delays. The official announcement was made at the Nevada Economic Development Conference.

Based on the company’s numbers, the rail plans to connect more than 22 million people with full travel time from Las Vegas to Victorville, California, estimated to take only 75 minutes, as passengers will be transported at speeds up to 150 mph.


Tagged categories: Business operations; Construction; Infrastructure; Infrastructure; NA; North America; Program/Project Management; Project Management; Rail; Railcars; Upcoming projects

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