Competition for a high-speed rail network in Texas may be heating up. The Texas Tribune reports that Chinese, French and Japanese interests may be lining up to provide an alternative to the short haul flights that now connect Texas’ major cities. The earliest possible date for actual rail service floating around is 2021. But it can’t happen soon enough for Red.
Texas Central Partners has drawn attention with its plans to develop a Dallas-Houston high-speed rail line using Japanese trains. While that project is furthest along, French and Chinese rail interests are more quietly discussing the prospects for rail projects with state and local officials.
“There comes a time when adding lanes is not a solution anymore, and that’s when you realize you need more public transportation,” said Alain Leray, president of SNCF America, the U.S. subsidiary of French rail operator SNCF. The company has been talking with Texas officials in earnest for about a year about potential rail projects, Leray said.
Chinese-backed rail interests have also approached some transportation officials in Texas about future projects, several transportation officials confirmed.