Once constructed, the Texas Bullet Train will be the first truly high-speed train project in Texas and the United States, connecting North Texas and Houston in less than 90 minutes. Texans continue to voice their support for a market-led transportation infrastructure project that will create thousands of jobs and help the state keep pace with the rapid population growth in and between the state’s two biggest economic powerhouses.
“Another major challenge is to unleash the potential for private investment in our nation’s infrastructure. As we work together to develop the details of the President Elect’s infrastructure plan, it’s important to know the significant difference between traditional program funding and other innovative financing tools…In order to take full advantage of the estimated trillions in capital that equity firms, pension funds and endowments can invest, these partnerships must be allowed to participate with a bold new vision. And again, we look forward to working with you to explore all options and to create a mix of practical solutions, both public and private, that provide the greatest cost benefit to the public because we all know that the government doesn’t have the resources to do it all.”
The Texas Bullet Train will provide a safe, fast, efficient and productive transportation alternative between two of the nation’s largest population centers. Using an innovative development approach, it is also a project that will leverage infrastructure investments in a way that creates a significant, positive economic impact. The only market-led infrastructure project of its kind in the US, the Texas Bullet Train is being built without federal grants, meaning it will be a tax-payer not a tax-taker, paying taxes to all the local municipalities it touches.
The Bullet Train’s positive community impacts extend beyond its role as a significant taxpayer. More than 10,000 jobs will be created directly by the project during each year of construction, and more than 1,500 permanent jobs will be created by the Texas Bullet Train once operational. All together, the direct economic impact of the Bullet Train is expected to exceed $36 billion over the next 25 years.
The Texas Bullet Train will utilize nearly 10 million cubic yards of concrete – the nearly three times the amount used to build the Hoover Dam. It will include 3 stations, one each in North Texas, Houston and the Brazos Valley, plus train maintenance facilities to support routine upkeep of the system along the route. The Texas Bullet Train will also utilize nearly 1,100 miles of steel rail and more than 1.4 million concrete railroad ties.
The current design of the system calls for more than 50 percent of the 240-miles of tracks to be elevated on viaducts in order to preserve access for landowners. Where viaducts are not feasible for elevation, the system will run mostly on elevated berms. Both options, however, allow for the design of large and conveniently located underpasses or overpasses. Though large in magnitude, the railroad will only require a small footprint similar to a typical two-lane farm to market road, and will follow existing right-of-way to the maximum extent possible. It may be wider in places to improve access for adjacent landowners, emergency response, or where maintenance-of-way facilities, power substations or signal huts are constructed near the track.
Providing access from one side of the tracks to the other, ensuring the low impact of the project’s narrow footprint, and focusing on passenger safety and security are at the heart of every decision this project considers, which is why, among other things, no other freight or passenger trains will travel on the same tracks. The project will be “grade separated,” which means it will cross over or under all public roads and will have no intersections with people or vehicles, so there will be no cars waiting on trains to pass and no risk of trains interacting with cars. This emphasis in safety speaks to the Shinkansen’s more than 50-year operating history – operations that include zero injuries or loss of life.