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High Speed Rail / Texas Triangle

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I don't want to go to Stupid Dallas. I want high speed rail connecting Houston to Galveston, New Orleans, san Antonio and from there north to Austin and South to Corpus and South Padre. Screw Dallas

Edited by HoustonIsHome
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This would be a great alternative.  All the security folderol, plus the usual to and fro to the airports, has made it so that the choice between flying and driving between Houston and Dallas is a push from a time standpoint.

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Every year or so this gets discussed. One of the big things is how College Station wants to get on a route, which mucks with any Austin-Houston/Dallas-Houston routes, but can't be dismissed since there's a lot of political power there.

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This is a terrific idea and would take at least half the market from Southwest on the Houston-Dallas route.  Competition is always good. 

 

Unfortunately, there are about ten entities studying this route and every couple of years there seems to be another study.. I'll believe it when it breaks down. 

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Am I the only one who is sick of all these studies? Just build it already and stop wasting time on all these studies.

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I don't want to go to Stupid Dallas. I want high speed rail connecting Houston to Galveston, New Orleans, san Antonio and from there north to Austin and South to Corpus and South Padre. Screw Dallas

 

Its so the People from Dallas have a faster way to leave and come here :)

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I hope it gets built this time. Lobbying from Southwest Airlines killed this project about 15 years ago since they make a lot of money on the DAL-HOU route. Dallas is just a start. Hopefully, it'll spur development of other lines that will eventually lead to nationwide high speed rail options.

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Laughing at the "average" time to drive to dallas of 4 hours mentioned in the article. That's assuming no slowing of traffic on 45 which is rare these days.

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Foxx was in San Antonio talking bout rail between Dallas n Houston?

I think a San Antonio commuter rail already to Austin and beyond has a study going on

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Does anyone know if there are existing train rights-of-way between Houston and Dallas that could be utilized?  It seems the cost of having to acquire the right-of-way could be a deal killer.

 

 

 

 

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Does anyone know if there are existing train rights-of-way between Houston and Dallas that could be utilized?  It seems the cost of having to acquire the right-of-way could be a deal killer.

 

From earlier articles it doesn't seem to be a deal killer.

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Does anyone know if there are existing train rights-of-way between Houston and Dallas that could be utilized?  It seems the cost of having to acquire the right-of-way could be a deal killer.

It shouldn't be too expensive. at least once you get north of the Houston suburbs. South of Dallas isn't as issue as there is almost nothing until Downtown.

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My concern is that there seems to be a lot of focus/pressure on Dallas wanting/getting 3 stops; downtown Ft. Worth, DFW and downtown Dallas. Whereas I have only seen mention of Houston only getting one stop way out in the suburbs...

Edited by urban909

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Let Dallas/Ft W have more stops.  Gives us Houstonians for destination choices.  It would be nice to terminate the South end of the line in Galveston, however. 

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My concern is that there seems to be a lot of focus/pressure on Dallas wanting/getting 3 stops; downtown Ft. Worth, DFW and downtown Dallas. Whereas I have only seen mention of Houston only getting one stop way out in the suburbs...

 

I wouldn't fret much about this yet.  It's just an announcement of yet another study.  May just be a way to line some pockets with money for the "study".

 

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The very fact this is being explored is fantastic!  We've come a long way in rail awareness over the past several years, much less the past couple decades.  I do expect to see some form of high speed/non-airline designed travel between cities like Houston and Dallas.  To be honest, you would think Southwest would hope on board (so to speak).  If they could cut some of the connector flights between Hobby and Dallas they could expand to other cities like Boise/Calgary/North Dakota (that won't connect via train) and thereby work in some kind of code share between the rail and air travel?  They would certainly jump ahead of United/AA/Delta if they did that.

 

Fun stuff.

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My concern is that there seems to be a lot of focus/pressure on Dallas wanting/getting 3 stops; downtown Ft. Worth, DFW and downtown Dallas. Whereas I have only seen mention of Houston only getting one stop way out in the suburbs...

 

Yes. I think they should stick with one Dallas stop unless someone else comes up with the money to extend it further into dallas and/or Fort Worth. Japanese know what works with their budget and they want South Dallas. This is just part of the weird dynamic of Fort Worth and Dallas in general.

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The three DFW stops issue is ridiculous. Put it at DFW airport, or put it at Union Station in downtown Dallas. Ft Worth does not deserve it's own stop. Let's put it this way.. If DFW gets multiple stops, then The Woodlands deserves it's own stop. Also the high speed rail terminal in Houston better be at Hardy Rail Yards.. That or turn the basement of UHD into an intermodal terminal for high speed rail and commuter rail. There aren't any better existing spots I can think of.. Especially near downtown (dumping it off in the suburbs would require a very long/slow light rail ride into the city).

Also I really hope they don't put the Dallas station in southern Dallas. There is absolutely nothing in southern Dallas...

I too have dreamed of the high speed rail continuing on to Galveston (I figure it would not only be convenient for Houstonians, but Dallasites wanting to take a day trip to the beach).

And I really hope this just goes down 45 and not down 290/6 through college station... A stop in college station would add time to the journey and that route wouldn't be nearly as direct.

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Where is the Houston station supposed to be anyway? I feel like the old astroworld site would be great for something like this.

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The three DFW stops issue is ridiculous. Put it at DFW airport, or put it at Union Station in downtown Dallas. Ft Worth does not deserve it's own stop. Let's put it this way.. If DFW gets multiple stops, then The Woodlands deserves it's own stop. Also the high speed rail terminal in Houston better be at Hardy Rail Yards.. That or turn the basement of UHD into an intermodal terminal for high speed rail and commuter rail. There aren't any better existing spots I can think of.. Especially near downtown (dumping it off in the suburbs would require a very long/slow light rail ride into the city).

Also I really hope they don't put the Dallas station in southern Dallas. There is absolutely nothing in southern Dallas...

I too have dreamed of the high speed rail continuing on to Galveston (I figure it would not only be convenient for Houstonians, but Dallasites wanting to take a day trip to the beach).

And I really hope this just goes down 45 and not down 290/6 through college station... A stop in college station would add time to the journey and that route wouldn't be nearly as direct.

 

I would guess we'll eventually end up with some configuration that connects Houston, Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio.  I know folks in BCS would like to have high speed rail run through, but with a meto population of less than 250k I'm not sure the cost of the detour from a Houston-Austin line would be justified.  If this goes in first, the Texas T-Bone configuration won't be built, though it might end up covered in the ultimate buildout. I would guess it would be Houston-Dallas first followed by San Antonio-Austin-Dallas.  After that, they might consider Houston-Austin and/or Houston-San Antonio.  I'd vote for Houston-San Antonio over Houston-Austin.

 

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The astroworld site is way too far south/out of the way to make any sense for a high speed rail line coming in from the north.

A decent/cost effective alternative for serving both San Antonio and Austin is a line down I-10 to San Antonio, with a spur branching off toward the northwest at 71 to serve the Austin metro as well. I agree a San Antonio connection to Houston should be a higher priority than Austin, but we can't ignore the bustling Austin metro either.

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I agree with cloud. Peyote keep saying the astroworld sure would be perfect and I ask why? Is its an empty spot? What's there? What public transportation options would you transfer to?

UHD is an interesting suggestions because the rail tracks go right through the building which gives it a major city feel instead of sine open depot feel like the light rail does.

Hardy is a great option too, especially if they create the intermodal station.

I also agree on the san Antonio priority with a spur to Austin.

I just think that central Texas is growing so quick it needs to be done.

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I keep hoping they bring back the intermodal terminal.. Even if it's a cheaper/scaled back version (hopefully not, 180 million doesn't seem like that much compared to the cost of light rail). An intermodal terminal is greatly needed if this city wants to unify it's future rail network (commuter rail and high speed rail). We can't be having high speed rail dump out in the suburbs and the commuter rail needs to a place to dump passengers out into the light rail system.. Why not make sure all three of those modes of transit are interconnected when the time comes?

I wonder what's in the basement of UHD.. Or if it's prone to flooding? I guess the latter isn't much of an issue so long as they use the proper materials for a terminal. Like you said, it would be neat/very urban feeling having the trains stop under/inside a building rather than at a little awning outdoors. And very convenient as all they would have to do is install a couple escalators from downstairs up to the light rail station on street level.

Edited by cloud713

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Astroworld is kind of adjacent to light rail, and besides, Houston has at least half a dozen edge cities...do we need a terminal for Galleria/Uptown/Energy Corridor, downtown, AND The Woodlands, for instance?

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I wonder what's in the basement of UHD.. Or if it's prone to flooding? I guess the latter isn't much of an issue so long as they use the proper materials for a terminal. Like you said, it would be neat/very urban feeling having the trains stop under/inside a building rather than at a little awning outdoors. And very convenient as all they would have to do is install a couple escalators from downstairs up to the light rail station on street level.

The "basement" of UHD is actually the 1st floor. Where the light rail stops is the 3rd (main floor).

The 1st floor is mainly used for storage. It is not completely built out.

Flooding was an issue during Alison, but I think that was a freak storm and with work on the bayou to mitigate flooding, that should not be too much of an issue.

I don't think the elevators in the south building go to the first floor but as you said they could build an escalator. It would be nice if the escalator lets you out on the south deck. You get great views of downtown from the south deck. It would be nice if your first view of Houston off that train is a good one as seen from the south deck. A field in the burbs would be a crappy how do you do.

Edited by HoustonIsHome

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I don't think the elevators in the south building go to the first floor but as you said they could build an escalator. It would be nice if the escalator lets you out on the south deck. You get great views of downtown from the south deck. It would be nice if your first view of Houston off that train is a good one as seen from the south deck. A field in the burbs would be a crappy how do you do.

 

The elevators now go to the 1st floor in the south building. The project was completed around 2008-09.

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Astroworld is kind of adjacent to light rail, and besides, Houston has at least half a dozen edge cities...do we need a terminal for Galleria/Uptown/Energy Corridor, downtown, AND The Woodlands, for instance?

im not sure i understand your point. yes the astroworld site is adjacent to light rail, but its on the wrong side of the city and doesnt have rail lines (or ROW for that matter, if you were to build new tracks) from the north going through it. are you saying since DFW wants 3 stops, we could/should have those 3 stops? i think The Woodlands, downtown, and Galveston would be the best 3. they would have to build new tracks since there isnt an existing line, and find a ROW to build HSR along from downtown to uptown. but at those distances i dont see it working (at least not operating at "high speed rail", since uptown to downtown is like 3 or 4 miles, whereas Ft Worth is 30 miles from Dallas), it just seems like you might as well build a commuter rail line for that segment (the 290/hempstead commuter rail from downtown through the northern terminus of the uptown LRT line, before going on to the suburbs of 290?). The Woodlands to downtown is about 30 miles, and downtown to Galveston is about 50 miles, so i think those stops would be spaced out enough that the trains could operate at high speeds for a long enough distance in between to actually make sense.

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The astroworld site is way too far south/out of the way to make any sense for a high speed rail line coming in from the north.

A decent/cost effective alternative for serving both San Antonio and Austin is a line down I-10 to San Antonio, with a spur branching off toward the northwest at 71 to serve the Austin metro as well. I agree a San Antonio connection to Houston should be a higher priority than Austin, but we can't ignore the bustling Austin metro either.

 

I'm thinking that they would run it to San Antonio and then you could board another train to go to Austin.

 

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I'm thinking that they would run it to San Antonio and then you could board another train to go to Austin.

That's likely what will happen (the Texas triangle, down 45, 10, and 35).. It would just be nice for Houstonians and Austinites to have a route between Houston and Austin without going out of the way and having to transfer trains.

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 A stop in college station would add time to the journey and that route wouldn't be nearly as direct.

 

Wouldn't that College Station routing problem be solved somewhat with an express or limited service for those who want to get to Dallas nonstop? You'd have to pay a little more to ride the express, but I would think people would use it if it shaved 30 minutes off a trip.

Edited by JLWM8609
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And I really hope this just goes down 45 and not down 290/6 through college station... A stop in college station would add time to the journey and that route wouldn't be nearly as direct.

Maybe so, but two things to consider:

1) It's a lot more practical to add a College Station-Houston stop, as I dare say that there's proportionally more College Station-Houston traffic than Dallas-Houston traffic, at least in terms of commuting.

2) Political pressure. Rick Perry's pals (who are bipartisan technically, making them harder to excise) won't let HSR slip by.

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A diverted route through college station isn't geographically that much further.

In my opinion a more interesting route would be Houston to college station, CS to Waco and then transfer to the 35 corridor route north to DFW or south to Austin SA.

Apart from the Houston to CS route I would have a direct route to Austin. It is closer to Houston than SA and having to go to SA seems so circuitous to me

From Houston these would be my routes:

249/ highway six to college station-Waco-DfW

290 to Austin-San Antonio

45s to Galveston and

I10 to New Orleans

After you live the Houston CSA there's pretty much nothing between Houston and Dallas on 45. Would have been nice if we had a city the size of Waco where Centerville is located

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A diverted route through college station isn't geographically that much further.

In my opinion a more interesting route would be Houston to college station, CS to Waco and then transfer to the 35 corridor route north to DFW or south to Austin SA.

Apart from the Houston to CS route I would have a direct route to Austin. It is closer to Houston than SA and having to go to SA seems so circuitous to me

From Houston these would be my routes:

249/ highway six to college station-Waco-DfW

290 to Austin-San Antonio

45s to Galveston and

I10 to New Orleans

After you live the Houston CSA there's pretty much nothing between Houston and Dallas on 45. Would have been nice if we had a city the size of Waco where Centerville is located

 

Although a Houston/CS/Waco route would be personally beneficial to me, I don't see that happening.  Houston/Austin or Houston/SA could be a toss up, but SA gets a lot of tourist traffic so I'm thinkng that gives it a slight edge over Austin, which will be connected anyway with a SA/Dallas route.

Personally, I could do without the Houston/Dallas route and just make it Houston/SA/Dallas.

Edited by august948

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I dunno about realistic right of way, but the ROW along Hempstead Rd runs to Hempstead, then through college station along Hwy 6 then veers off toward Mexia before you get to Waco, rejoining 45 in Richland and then along 45 through the southern suburbs at which point it comes to Dallas and can come in various locations around Dallas south and east of downtown or perhaps on the west side of downtown along the stemmons freeway.

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Does/will the high speed rail use standard track gauge or does it need something special that will therefore not allow it to run on existing tracks?

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Quite sure they require special dedicated tracks, for stretches where they travel at high speed.but, at standard gauge so they can transfer to standard tracks.

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Quite sure they require special dedicated tracks, for stretches where they travel at high speed.but, at standard gauge so they can transfer to standard tracks.

 

i guess that's what i was asking...do they/will they use American Standard Gauge specifications so they can share tracks.  I'm wondering if the eventual setup would be to used existing trackage to get into and out of the city at normal speeds and then branch off to a high-speed route for most of the trip.

 

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i guess that's what i was asking...do they/will they use American Standard Gauge specifications so they can share tracks.  I'm wondering if the eventual setup would be to used existing trackage to get into and out of the city at normal speeds and then branch off to a high-speed route for most of the trip.

 

 

The california high speed rail faced this issue, once it reaches near san francisco it will slow down and share tracks with Caltrain, if it ever gets built that is.

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The california high speed rail faced this issue, once it reaches near san francisco it will slow down and share tracks with Caltrain, if it ever gets built that is.

 

Is the Cali high speed train being backed by JR also?

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Is the Cali high speed train being backed by JR also?

No, it's backed by the Feds, hence the 100 billion dollar price tag and decades needed to "study" and complete it..

Edited by cloud713

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I dunno about realistic right of way, but the ROW along Hempstead Rd runs to Hempstead, then through college station along Hwy 6 then veers off toward Mexia before you get to Waco, rejoining 45 in Richland and then along 45 through the southern suburbs at which point it comes to Dallas and can come in various locations around Dallas south and east of downtown or perhaps on the west side of downtown along the stemmons freeway.

I dunno about realistic right of way, but the ROW along Hempstead Rd runs to Hempstead, then through college station along Hwy 6 then veers off toward Mexia before you get to Waco, rejoining 45 in Richland and then along 45 through the southern suburbs at which point it comes to Dallas and can come in various locations around Dallas south and east of downtown or perhaps on the west side of downtown along the stemmons freeway.

That route seems horrible.. I just scoped it out on my phone. Sharp curves around Hempstead, navasota and college station that the trains would have to slow way down for.. Not to mention that route goes directly through the middle of at least a dozen small towns, with houses and properties backed up to the rail line, and all of those towns have numerous at grade railroad crossings.. Both of those make for very slow operating speeds...

I'm not sure how much better the 45 route is in terms of curvy ness but it surely has less small towns along the route than highway6

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I'm with cloud on this, with the exception of the Woodlands stop. I don't like the idea of a high speed commuter train having to stop that close to Houston. Once you get started back up and regain speed it'd be time to stop it again in the few minutes it would take to cover the distance from the Woodlands stop to Houston's. One stop in Houston, one stop in Galveston. That would seem the best use of the system connecting us with the Metroplex.

Someone mentioned a line going southwest towards Corpus Christi. That would be an awesome idea, and the added bonus here is that Kansas City Southern recently rebuilt the old SP Macaroni line, which reopens a continuous ROW to the border of Mexico if it was ever necessary or desired to extend it that far.

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Btw, that Hempstead route would be something else. Grab your popcorn. It's going to be quite a show when they hit tower 13 at 100+. Lol. That is not a straight away at all and wouldn't be a good line for high speed. The Hardy line is basically a straight line towards Dallas and would really only have the Lloyd Yard just north of the beltway to contend with holding it up. This line has always made the most sense to me and is why I agree with cloud that Hardy Yards would be the preferred choice.

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Btw, that Hempstead route would be something else. Grab your popcorn. It's going to be quite a show when they hit tower 13 at 100+. Lol. That is not a straight away at all and wouldn't be a good line for high speed.

Even if it follows most of the way, it doesn't necessarily have to travel at the same route as the railroad.

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