Here's Everything You Need To Know About The Proposed Dallas-Houston Bullet Train.
The more removed our country gets from the golden age of rail travel, the more the thought of passenger trains becomes romanticized.
And maybe rightfully so: Preferred modern travel means such as flying or driving may boast speed ad convenience over the railway, but at least the drawn-out train trips of yore placed a little emphasis on the journey over the destination.
Actually, they still do: Our country's highest-speed train, Amtrak's Acela Express, makes the 400-mile trek from Boston to Washington pretty much hourly — but still takes around seven hours to complete its trip.
If all goes well, though, a Japanese company may be changing all that with its planned high-speed bullet train that would connect Dallas and Houston. Though the project is still a few years off, here's everything you need to know about the Dallas bullet train project in a nutshell.
• How fast are we talking?
Hitting a top speed of 205 miles-per-hour, these high-speed these suckers — called shinkansen bullet trains — will be able to make the 240-mile trip in roughly 90 minutes.
• Who is behind the project?
A private company called Texas Central Railway is currently planning the project with backing from Japan's JR Central Railway. The company's CEO, Richard Lawless, lived in Tokyo in the '80s while working for the C.I.A.
• How much will the thing cost?
The costs are estimated at being in the $10 billion range, but the company says it plans to fully fund the thing without any government assistance. Furthermore, the company says it will refuse government subsidies even if the project fails to turn a profit.
• Why Dallas?
For one thing, the relatively flat terrain between Dallas and Houston will greatly reduce production costs on the project. Another obvious factor is the chance to better interconnect DFW's 6.8 million population with Greater Houston's 6.3 million.
• Why hasn't this been done before?
A similar project was attempted 20 years ago, but resistance from land owners and heavy opposition from Southwest Airlines both played roles in stopping that plan in its tracks. A bigger hurdle, perhaps, was the fact that the project relied on more funding via tax-exempt private activity bonds than federal restrictions allowed.
• When is all this going to happen?
Pending the results of a 30-month environmental impact study that began in June, construction on the project could start as early as 2017. If all goes according to plan, trains would be expected to begin running by 2021, making as many as 34 round trips between the two cities daily.