Aug 31, 2022 - News

Houston-Dallas bullet train feels like a distant dream

Japan's Shinkansen bullet train, but don't expect anything like it around here anytime soon. Photo: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

The highly anticipated bullet train project that would link Dallas and Houston is losing momentum.

Driving the news: The company behind the project — known as Texas Central — has experienced a "leadership exodus" and slowing land acquisition despite a Texas Supreme Court ruling that eminent domain can be used for the project, per the Texas Tribune.

The intrigue: Texas Central, which announced plans for the train almost 10 years ago, has said it would take travelers between Dallas and Houston in just 90 minutes, a better use of our time than sitting in a car for four hours.

  • The train would operate at speeds over 200 miles per hour and offer a stop in the Brazos Valley.
  • The Dallas station would be in the Cedars, just south of downtown and near the city's proposed site for the convention center's massive redevelopment.

The other side: Some residents in the rural areas the train would cut through have fought for years to keep their land from being seized, saying companies shouldn't be allowed to take private property for public use.

  • The Texas Supreme Court ruled in June that Texas Central can seize land through eminent domain, clearing a big hurdle for the bullet train.

Yes, but: Construction, which had been slated to start last year so the train could be operational by 2026, seems unlikely to start anytime soon.

  • A company spokesperson recently told the Texas Tribune that the project is "moving forward" but didn't provide any additional information on the leadership changes, land acquisition or the permits needed for the project.
  • The company's project timeline, blog and YouTube channel haven't been updated in two years. A July news release commenting on "recent developments" didn't include any new details, either.

The bottom line: As great as this idea sounds, it still feels like a long, long way from reality.

  • But we won't stop dreaming of future lunch dates with our Axios Houston friends.

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