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MaxConcrete

High Speed Rail / Texas Triangle

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10 hours ago, august948 said:

 

Interesting...so the ruling is that TCR isn't a railroad and therefore isn't entitled to the legal preferences for acquiring land.  So...what if they build a mile of track and put a locomotive on it?

They should buy the one next to the baseball stadium.

 

choooo-chooo.  Instant railroad.

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This all seems very politically motivated. With the current laws in the books, and judicial precedent that has been laid over a couple centuries regarding the definition of a railroad this will get overturned at the first appeal. I also don't get the reps statements/claims about the railroad not able to be finished without eminent domain. That has no objective evidence to that claim and is pure subjective speculation which would never hold up in court. Furthermore, this doesn't mean that it can't begin construction, It just means that they wouldn't be able to use eminent domain, even though the legislature already passed a bill restricting the possible use of eminent domain by a company like TCR. TCR is still going to start construction on the properties it already holds. Clickbait article headline + unreasonable judicial mandate = overblown "moral" victory.

 

EDIT: Its also interesting that they say that this company isn't looking to better the land or be good stewards. They just announced the recruitment of a consultant that specializes in environmental reclamation, and by the oppositions own language they are essentially saying that the federal government, that preapproved the railroad in a draft of the environmental impact study, are liars. The whole point of going through that process (which is actually a bit ridiculous in just how much of a bureaucratic nightmare it is) is to make sure a company mitigates potential harm to the environment.

Edited by Luminare
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12 hours ago, cougarpad said:

This decision should get appealed and overturned base on lack of common sense. So if an oil company wants to lay a pipeline, they can't use eminent domain until its built? Or how about utility lines? Or better yet a toll road? They should just go ahead and start building the rest of the rail while they deal with the mess in one county. The governmental environmental study alone shows it is a railroad. 

 

Actually, it looks like what they are saying is that TCR doesn't operate any track already, therefore it isn't a railroad.  That would be more like forming a new oil company and the court denying they are an oil company until they have built a pipeline.  At any rate, it should be an easy hurdle to overcome if they have to.  But, there is plenty of history for railroads being formed and getting rights before they start building.

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I know it generates clicks and that’s what the Chron really needs right now, but it’s odd how much of a voice they’re giving to the opposition. Not saying they don’t deserve to get heard, but the same overly dramatic fear mongering points get multiple chances in a majority of the HSR coverage compared to any pro-HSR comment, which, a majority of the time, is usually a canned “We disagree” comment from TCR.

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It's possible the editor of that section lives in Grimes county and agrees with the opponents.  All papers are still put together by people

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I am a conservative but I support this rail project. Our major railroads were built by investors in the 1800s. This same concept is being used for this project which is better than a government built bureaucracy. California is showing the country how not to build a line by using taxpayer money in a massive boondoggle. The Texas high-speed rail line is closer to being built than the government funded one in California. I am fine with companies who are willing to invest and build high-speed rail lines in this country. There are places where high-speed rail can beneficial while not going with the crackpot ideas of that wackjob AOC in New York. No, we do not need to replace all of our rail lines with high-speed rail and especially at the taxpayer expense as the only source of transportation. The airline industry is still much needed. Rail should be used to compliment airline travel where it is financially feasible. Oh, and we still need that interstate highway system as well for both commerce and yes the military. Once this rail line in Texas gets built maybe other private companies will want to step up with privately built lines of their own. We will have a rail building boom as we had in our past history, and just like in the past we will let capitalism and investors fit the bill for the building boom.

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Another point: private inter-city rail is being built in the US - the Brightline in Florida

https://www.gobrightline.com/

It goes from Miami to West Palm beach, and is being expanded towards Orlando. Virgin Trains (a private rail company in England) bought a minority share, and they bought out a company that is going to from LA to Vegas.

 

I think we need to make it so that these companies that want to try to make new trains have the opportunity to; if a company thinks they can get investors and make a business plan for a high speed train from New York to LA, let them - just don't spend $2.2 trillion of public money on it.

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To bring this to our local area, I also think Metro should look to investors and private companies to help finance transportation projects. I'm fine with a company getting a few cents of every fair if they help finance a light rail project.

Edited by cougarpad
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Found this on one website which illustrates the follies of the CHSRA and why there has been so many delays out in Cali. Comparing this project to what has happened in Cali, it seems that this project has avoided all of these worst practices, primarily because it is a private venture without federal or state funding. I also believe in our case TCR has avoided another worst practice, being that the project be predicated on eminent domain. From the beginning TCR has stated that they wouldn't have to use it. Though it might take a bit longer to get the land that they want they would get the land and at market value (or higher). The nimby's for our project should be thanking their lucky stars that we aren't in a headache like Cali is. While there was this recent roadblock with the judge, that has nothing on the situation going on in Cali. At least TCR is still controlling their own budget, their own timeline, their own expectations, and their own land. This immediately sets it apart and makes this a project that can survive and thrive. Amazing that its also still been flying under the radar as far as the news is concerned. Everyone talks about the Cali project and its failures, but this one just keeps methodically chugging along.

 

Here is the link to the article:

 

https://www.railjournal.com/opinion/california-high-speed-deadly-mistakes

 

EDIT: Learned this while revisiting the article. If you aren't able to load it then turn off adblock.

Edited by Luminare
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For their original budget, California could have probably made a line that connected just LA and SF, with maybe one intervening stop - but instead they tried to stop and every county that was on the way to get political buy in, without realizing that would make the project way more expensive than it had to be.

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2 hours ago, cspwal said:

For their original budget, California could have probably made a line that connected just LA and SF, with maybe one intervening stop - but instead they tried to stop and every county that was on the way to get political buy in, without realizing that would make the project way more expensive than it had to be.

 

This runs exactly with:

 

"Worst Practice 1:
Legally defining project parameters in ways that can never be changed."

 

They essentially over-promised while placing that promise in a referendum that they couldn't get out of. Whoever agreed/set the terms for this was a complete fool. I'm all about ambition and vision, but you have to keep those vague in a contract so they can be expanded up or clarified later as conditions change. They instead went into detail way to fast.

 

Edited by Luminare

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Even with the recent "setback". TCR is still pursuing a late 2019 or early 2020 start date.

 

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/neighborhood/spring/news/article/Houston-Dallas-high-speed-rail-construction-may-13620560.php#photo-14995150

 

TCR brings aboard financial advisers to begin capital-raising efforts.

 

https://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/news/2019/02/22/texas-central-citi-mufg.html

 

Seems like its full steam ahead to me.

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1 hour ago, Luminare said:

Even with the recent "setback". TCR is still pursuing a late 2019 or early 2020 start date.

 

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/neighborhood/spring/news/article/Houston-Dallas-high-speed-rail-construction-may-13620560.php#photo-14995150

 

TCR brings aboard financial advisers to begin capital-raising efforts.

 

https://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/news/2019/02/22/texas-central-citi-mufg.html

 

Seems like its full steam ahead to me.

 

Full steam ahead?  Now that's what would really be awesome....😀

 

big-boy-4012.jpg

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Good article in today's WSJ regarding why high speed rail has failed to materialize in the US. Illinois is shown as the example of why it has failed to take off. Governments are realizing that European/Chinese like high speed rail is not feasible in the US. However, higher speed rail is more feasible (up to 110/mph). The article remains open minded about investor backed high speed rail projects like the ones in Texas and Florida.

 

https://www.wsj.com/articles/high-speed-rail-in-the-u-s-remains-elusive-illinois-shows-why-11551713342

 

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Sharing some content from /r/houston:

 

The above links to a cached ABC13 article:

 

Quote

FORT WORTH, Texas (KTRK) -- Plans for the high speed rail in Texas that will take you from Houston to Dallas in 90 minutes are racing forward.

Texas Central, the company in charge of the project, announced Thursday its petition to issue a Rule of Particular Applicability (RPA) has been granted by the Federal Railroad Administration.

 

With this new approval from the Department of Transportation, the FRA will now be able to start writing the regulation that will apply to the project and allow the environmental impact study to move forward.

RELATED: History of Texas bullet train project

The company says an RPA is a project-specific rule that is written for unique projects like the high speed rail.

"The Federal Railroad Administration's action on the RPA marks a major achievement to make this project a reality for all Texans," said Texas Central chairman Drayton McLane. "This is a bold move by the Secretary, and the Department of Transportation, to ensure we implement the safest passenger rail system in the world."

 

Texas Central has signed an agreement with the Spanish rail operating company, Renfe.

 

Renfe runs more than 7,500 miles of track across Europe.

 

Associated video: https://abc13.com/video/embed/?pid=2311749

 

And TCR Press Release regarding the news:

https://www.texascentral.com/posts/another-major-milestone-for-your-high-speed-train/

 

Another post also shared this Japan Railway Journal episode about the project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mw41m2pE60U

Rather dull but learned about the various Shinkansen design iterations with a perfect safety rating for over 50 years.

 

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Swiping more news from /r/houston:

 

https://www.texascentral.com/posts/design-build-contract-signed-with-salini-impreglio/

 

Some excerpts:

 

Quote

On the heels of the recent regulatory announcement on the RPA, we’re excited to announce another major accomplishment. We’re pleased to share that we have signed a design-build contract with the joint venture of Salini Impregilo, one of the largest civil engineering contractors in the world, and its U.S. subsidiary Lane Construction Company. Salini Impregilo is active in more than 50 countries on five continents, with experience building more than 4,000 miles of railway infrastructure around the world – in Australia, Europe, Asia and the Americas.

As part of the design-build scope, Salini-Lane will supply the civil infrastructure work for the new high-speed train service between Houston and North Texas.  This includes the design and construction of the viaduct and embankment sections along the entire route, the installation of the track system and construction of related buildings and services along the route that will house maintenance and other rail system equipment. 

 

Also from the PDF press release:

Quote

The Texas train will be based on Central Japan Railway’s Tokaido Shinkansen train system, the world’s safest mass transportation system. The new Shinkansen N700S  is the 6th generation of this train and will be debuted before this summer’s 2020 Olympics. The system has transported more than 10 billion passengers in over 54 years with a perfect record of zero passenger fatalities or injuries from operations, and an impeccable on-time performance record.

 

The project’s total investment is expected to be approximately $20 billion with the civil works estimated at $14 billion. This would conservatively lead to an estimated $36 billion in economic benefits state-wide over the next 25 years, including the creation of 10,000 jobs per year during peak construction and 1,500 permanent jobs when fully operational.

 

EDIT: @102IAHexpress and I posted the news simultaneously 😁

Edited by The Ozone Files
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Good to hear.  I see the timeline is sliding a bit, hopefully they can actually start construction in 2020, and that it is successful and inspires other projects. 

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2 hours ago, mfastx said:

Good to hear.  I see the timeline is sliding a bit, hopefully they can actually start construction in 2020, and that it is successful and inspires other projects. 

 

Sliding though isn't on the Private end, but the Public end. You can imagine why it would take even longer if this was an all government job. They still need a couple more approvals to finally get this going. I'm sure if there wasn't this many hops to jump through they probably would have started a couple years ago.

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14 hours ago, Luminare said:

 

Sliding though isn't on the Private end, but the Public end. You can imagine why it would take even longer if this was an all government job. They still need a couple more approvals to finally get this going. I'm sure if there wasn't this many hops to jump through they probably would have started a couple years ago.

 

I thought the timeline was sliding because of NIMBYs and lawsuits? 

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18 minutes ago, mfastx said:

 

I thought the timeline was sliding because of NIMBYs and lawsuits? 

 

Partly correct, yes. Again the only reason these two have held any sway in this process is because the opposition has been able to gain favor by a few judges and reps. If they didn't have any of that support then again the timeline wouldn't have slid this far.

 

With that being said...its amazing that they are still chugging away. Easy does it and steady as she goes. The fact they were able to finalize that project signing is a great sign. You aren't going to make that kind of commitment as an international company unless its going to happen.

 

At this point its not a matter of if anymore, but a matter of when. That is incredible since I remember meeting with these guys all the way back in 2015 and even then I still though this was pipe dream. They really have put their money where their mouth is. I hope these guys can become the SpaceX of High Speed rail. A company that proves that the free market can be a real solution just like SpaceX proved we can go to space in a free market manner as well.

 

Just think of the implications if they are able to succeed. It doesn't just have implications for intercity travel, but also possibly travel within cities as governments can invest in companies to provide better alternatives with the governments guidance.

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It remains a silly idea that will end up failing financially, and the billionaires behind it will come begging for a bailout.

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3 hours ago, Luminare said:

At this point its not a matter of if anymore, but a matter of when.

 

You don't have any concerns about them not having the cash?

 

They need like $17 billion, right?

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51 minutes ago, wilcal said:

 

You don't have any concerns about them not having the cash?

 

They need like $17 billion, right?

You do realize that the partner Japanese company  behind this has other lines built and running around the world? It is not like this is some start up company building their first rail. The builders have plenty of financial backing.

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24 minutes ago, cougarpad said:

You do realize that the partner Japanese company  behind this has other lines built and running around the world? It is not like this is some start up company building their first rail. The builders have plenty of financial backing.

 

Not to mention if the company itself does fail I'm sure the Japanese will not want to have a line which they invested in and has their name on it sit and collect dust. If anything I would assume the Japanese would just buy out the company outright and run it themselves. That is a major worst case scenario that I don't foresee happening at all, but that would be the likely scenario in that case with the trains and a good chunk of funding coming from Japan. Essentially TCR is nothing but an operator and a facilitator for this tech getting and running in the US. I would even be surprised is TCR becomes an outright subsidiary of the Japanese train company outright. In fact that would be a smart move to continue an infusion of finances and construction of new lines in the future.

 

1 hour ago, gmac said:

It remains a silly idea that will end up failing financially, and the billionaires behind it will come begging for a bailout.

 

I've never heard of a company that is essentially the only competitor in a market place failing in the way you are describing and then asking for a bailout. That never happens. A company asks for a bailout when they fail to adjust to changing market place and normally in the case of banks or cars it was to maintain american brands in a global market place which is why the government even considered bailing them out in the first place. If that worry wasn't there then they would have left them go bankrupt. Bailouts were merely a means to protect our own homegrown industries...which sucked that it had to be done in the first place, and I'm still against it, but it was an unprecedented circumstance in those cases. As for TCR, not only are they using another companies patented tech, but are getting funding from them as well. I've never understood this argument in the first place, and it all sounds like resentment and nihilism.

 

Think about it, when this line gets built it will literally be the only game in town in regards to train travel between the two cities. If you have 100% of the entire market, chances are you are going to do just fine. Now how much they will profit remains to be seen. Is it going to be a razor thin margin like we see with air travel? Nobody knows. Is it going to be enormous profit margins like railroads of the 19th century? Nobody knows. But what can be assured is that your scenario is predicated on the fact that travel by air, train, or car is an apples to apples comparison meaning they compete for the same kind of travel and that is completely wrong. There is a market here, how much profit can be had in that market remains to be seen.

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We'll see, and we'll just have to disagree. I probably won't live long enough to see this thing started/completed, but I think it is a useless project that adds nothing. I have no skin in the game, just hate to see people lose their land for a vanity project.

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15 minutes ago, gmac said:

We'll see, and we'll just have to disagree. I probably won't live long enough to see this thing started/completed, but I think it is a useless project that adds nothing. I have no skin in the game, just hate to see people lose their land for a vanity project.

A big chunk of the land is in a utility corridor on people's property that already is owned by a power company. Also how is it a vanity project? All these investors are not putting money on the line if they did not think the ridership was there. The line is no where near as big of a footprint as TXDOT is taking out of properties across the Texas to build highways. The company is paying the property owners for the land as well. It is not like they are just walking up and taking the property without compensation.

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I don't know why people are crying for investors' potential losses when the worst case scenario is the state getting a fully-built piece of high-capital infrastructure for pennies on the dollar. Certainly those investors are not crying for you when their gains come at your expense, and there's no public good left behind as a result.

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26 minutes ago, cougarpad said:

A big chunk of the land is in a utility corridor on people's property that already is owned by a power company. Also how is it a vanity project? All these investors are not putting money on the line if they did not think the ridership was there. The line is no where near as big of a footprint as TXDOT is taking out of properties across the Texas to build highways. The company is paying the property owners for the land as well. It is not like they are just walking up and taking the property without compensation.

 

Heck even if it was a vanity project people have no idea how much ego plays a part in building our world and providing products to the market. This is especially the case with architecture, engineering, and construction. People want to prove they can do something and show what they can do with their money. The thing you want is for ones ego/self-interests to also align with what can benefit others and society at large. Not only is this company building a railroad and spending a lot of capital to do so, but it also just so happens that it can turn into a public good for a lot of people who want alternative options for transit.

 

Its been amazing how all the people criticizing highway expansion haven't made a peep about this project or levied full support, and the only conclusion that I can render is that it is again resentment and nihilism. They want the government to do this, and they resent that a private company would even dare try this. Its really astounding.

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Also if the line is such a big failure that it goes bankrupt, why would the state bail them out?  And if the state did bail them out, it means the HSR line was so useful and important that it's worth whatever the bailout cost was, which means that it was worth the disruption of some people's property to benefit a lot of other people

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22 hours ago, cougarpad said:

You do realize that the partner Japanese company  behind this has other lines built and running around the world? It is not like this is some start up company building their first rail. The builders have plenty of financial backing.

 

That's basically exactly what this is. Yes, they've hired a bunch of experts to help them, but this is a startup company. 

 

When you say "partner Japanese company" are you referencing JR Central, the company that operates the Shinkansen trains (in Japan, exclusively) or Hitachi/Kinki Sharyo who manufacture the trains? 

 

Yes, they are licensing the tech from a Japanese company, but that company isn't funding the construction of this project. The bulk of the funding so far for Texas Central is from the nation of Japan via the Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corp. for Transport & Urban Development and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation who have provided a $300 million loan (about 2% of what they need).

 

Texas Central has on their own website that they will be using private investors, but they have not announced anything more than the $300 million loan from the nation of Japan and and some initial funding of less than $100 million. Dallas Morning News reported that the $300 million loan from Japan (and again, I'm talking about the country) is the amount necessary to take them to the point where they can start construction. The nation of Japan could provide more funding, but no one has stated that publicly. 

 

I really wish that I'm wrong, but I have not seen a single piece of information anywhere that suggests that they have more than $500 million in funding from any source, and certainly not enough funding to complete the project, so if you can provide any information in regards to that I would actually be really overjoyed. 

 

Edit: I'll put this edit to say that yes, some Japanese corporation or the Japanese government, or who knows could have already agreed to fund this project behind closed doors. Nothing, to my knowledge, is public about any potential multi-billion dollar funding. 

Edited by wilcal
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34 minutes ago, wilcal said:

 

That's basically exactly what this is. Yes, they've hired a bunch of experts to help them, but this is a startup company. 

 

When you say "partner Japanese company" are you referencing JR Central, the company that operates the Shinkansen trains (in Japan, exclusively) or Hitachi/Kinki Sharyo who manufacture the trains? 

 

Yes, they are licensing the tech from a Japanese company, but that company isn't funding the construction of this project. The bulk of the funding so far for Texas Central is from the nation of Japan via the Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corp. for Transport & Urban Development and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation who have provided a $300 million loan (about 2% of what they need).

 

Texas Central has on their own website that they will be using private investors, but they have not announced anything more than the $300 million loan from the nation of Japan and and some initial funding of less than $100 million. Dallas Morning News reported that the $300 million loan from Japan (and again, I'm talking about the country) is the amount necessary to take them to the point where they can start construction. The nation of Japan could provide more funding, but no one has stated that publicly. 

 

I really wish that I'm wrong, but I have not seen a single piece of information anywhere that suggests that they have more than $500 million in funding from any source, and certainly not enough funding to complete the project, so if you can provide any information in regards to that I would actually be really overjoyed. 

 

Who owns Texas Central?

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29 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

 

Who owns Texas Central?

 

Texas Central Partners, LLC. 

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1 hour ago, wilcal said:

 

That's basically exactly what this is. Yes, they've hired a bunch of experts to help them, but this is a startup company. 

 

When you say "partner Japanese company" are you referencing JR Central, the company that operates the Shinkansen trains (in Japan, exclusively) or Hitachi/Kinki Sharyo who manufacture the trains? 

 

Yes, they are licensing the tech from a Japanese company, but that company isn't funding the construction of this project. The bulk of the funding so far for Texas Central is from the nation of Japan via the Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corp. for Transport & Urban Development and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation who have provided a $300 million loan (about 2% of what they need).

 

Texas Central has on their own website that they will be using private investors, but they have not announced anything more than the $300 million loan from the nation of Japan and and some initial funding of less than $100 million. Dallas Morning News reported that the $300 million loan from Japan (and again, I'm talking about the country) is the amount necessary to take them to the point where they can start construction. The nation of Japan could provide more funding, but no one has stated that publicly. 

 

I really wish that I'm wrong, but I have not seen a single piece of information anywhere that suggests that they have more than $500 million in funding from any source, and certainly not enough funding to complete the project, so if you can provide any information in regards to that I would actually be really overjoyed. 

 

As someone who is in the industry this is very typical and not out of the norm from a private side standpoint. Its atypical in regards to infrastructure because normally the government are the ones involved in order to get projects fully approved and begun in the first place they have to have all the funding all in one go, and typically they will only get it from a few sources. Normally this is through bonds, loans, or taxes (or all of the above). They also have to do this because they are beholden by the public to make sure that the money they get (which is typically from tax payers in some form) goes to the right place and is allocated correctly. A private company does not have to do this, and in a normal construction project they can begin the process, either with all funds available or by gathering funds as they go along. It really is a pay as you go process. I've actually been part of a project that is going to be 100% funded by donations, but even now it isn't fully funded yet, but the funds which have been collected have been used to start the process, develop drawings, work with consultants, and get various permits approved etc... The only money they still need is the necessary funds to begin construction and that is being collected right now. Your jobs on the residential side, especially single family homes, in which a family goes to an architect to design a home, is done in the same fashion. Again this is only atypical because this is infrastructure and projects in that arena, typically done by the government, are done in lump sums or all at once, but that is because they are legally bound to do so, and to make sure they are not overspending or going overbudget and anger the public, have to do so. Everything here from an industry insider checks out as far as the money that they have appropriated to get the process going thus far. A project this massive that gets through all the hops and loops to get to the point of construction will ring bells immediately to many investors to invest in a project like this because a project that can get to that point is a project that will work. No investor is going to immediately fork over billions of dollars for a project that isn't there yet. This one isn't there yet, but a project with the Final Environment Study, various regulations needed, land aquired necessary to start, designs on the boards, and team on board...will be ready for that kind of investment.

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44 minutes ago, wilcal said:

 

Texas Central Partners, LLC. 

 

Yes, and who owns Texas Central Partners, LLC, if you know?  And I'm curious how you know that JR Central is not providing any funding for the project.

Edited by Houston19514

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2 minutes ago, Luminare said:

 

As someone who is in the industry this is very typical and not out of the norm from a private side standpoint. Its atypical in regards to infrastructure because normally the government are the ones involved in order to get projects fully approved and begun in the first place they have to have all the funding all in one go, and typically they will only get it from a few sources. Normally this is through bonds, loans, or taxes (or all of the above). They also have to do this because they are beholden by the public to make sure that the money they get (which is typically from tax payers in some form) goes to the right place and is allocated correctly. A private company does not have to do this, and in a normal construction project they can begin the process, either with all funds available or by gathering funds as they go along. It really is a pay as you go process. I've actually been part of a project that is going to be 100% funded by donations, but even now it isn't fully funded yet, but the funds which have been collected have been used to start the process, develop drawings, work with consultants, and get various permits approved etc... The only money they still need is the necessary funds to begin construction and that is being collected right now. Your jobs on the residential side, especially single family homes, in which a family goes to an architect to design a home, is done in the same fashion. Again this is only atypical because this is infrastructure and projects in that arena, typically done by the government, are done in lump sums or all at once, but that is because they are legally bound to do so, and to make sure they are not overspending or going overbudget and anger the public, have to do so. Everything here from an industry insider checks out as far as the money that they have appropriated to get the process going thus far. A project this massive that gets through all the hops and loops to get to the point of construction will ring bells immediately to many investors to invest in a project like this because a project that can get to that point is a project that will work. No investor is going to immediately fork over billions of dollars for a project that isn't there yet. This one isn't there yet, but a project with the Final Environment Study, various regulations needed, land aquired necessary to start, designs on the boards, and team on board...will be ready for that kind of investment.

 

I think this is 1000000% fair, and of course you would never be expected to have all funds in place at the beginning of a 5ish year build. And you're right, they do have the right to a veil of secrecy. I guess we'll find out for sure in March when the environmental study is done and they can start construction. They've made a pretty big deal about the previous loans they received, and I would assume that they would want to trumpet any other significant investment. 

 

Imho, if their strategy is to wait, that would be a bold play. 

2 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

 

Yes, and who owns Texas Central Partners, LLC?

 

It's my understanding that the information is not public, but I do not know for certain. 

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1 hour ago, wilcal said:

Texas Central has on their own website that they will be using private investors, but they have not announced anything more than the $300 million loan from the nation of Japan and and some initial funding of less than $100 million. Dallas Morning News reported that the $300 million loan from Japan (and again, I'm talking about the country) is the amount necessary to take them to the point where they can start construction. The nation of Japan could provide more funding, but no one has stated that publicly.

 

Most successful startup companies only take out enough loans to get them  to square one at first .... this doesn't mean they don't have options for additional financing. Why pay the additional loan costs until you can prove that the rail line can be legally built. I have faith that they will "find" the money when required from deep pockets

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10 minutes ago, wilcal said:

 

I think this is 1000000% fair, and of course you would never be expected to have all funds in place at the beginning of a 5ish year build. And you're right, they do have the right to a veil of secrecy. I guess we'll find out for sure in March when the environmental study is done and they can start construction. They've made a pretty big deal about the previous loans they received, and I would assume that they would want to trumpet any other significant investment. 

 

Imho, if their strategy is to wait, that would be a bold play. 

 

Its not even bold...its literally everyday business practices haha.

 

Now if they were getting Bonds, Loans, and Taxes for this job then you bet they better reveal that and they would, but they haven't taken anything from those three thus far and so they don't have to disclose anything. Again its weird and gets into the realm of conspiracies for some because its an infrastructure job which normally is funded via the prior three stated, and so the intention by many is to ask...where where is the money  you said this project needs, but its not a public project and so they don't need to disclose that info or even have that funding right away.

 

I even mentioned before that in 2015 I still thought this was a pipe dream. Now imagine what investors might have thought. I'm sure investors thought the same for private space companies in the beginning as well. Now its getting more likely this will happen by the day, and if they have everything approved and say they are ready to build then, if I had money, I would invest in something like this. This is a 6 year long job with potential for return over 25 years. That is the best possible investment in regards to real estate and construction. They just have to get there first and its clear that is their aim.

Edited by Luminare
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8 minutes ago, wilcal said:

It's my understanding that the information is not public, but I do not know for certain. 

 

So, it's possible that JR Central or other Japanese entities are the owners or at least partial owners of Texas Central.  I'm curious how how know that JR Central is not providing any construction funding.

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1 minute ago, Houston19514 said:

 

So, it's possible that JR Central or other Japanese entities are the owners or at least partial owners of Texas Central.  I'm curious how how know that JR Central is not providing any construction funding.

 

I'm pretty sure they do and was stipulation for the initial funding. They would be idiots if they didn't. Putting that kind of skin into the game early is risky and asking for partial ownership or ownership stakes is one way to insure the project will be successful.

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1 hour ago, Luminare said:

 

Its not even bold...its literally everyday business practices haha.

 

Now if they were getting Bonds, Loans, and Taxes for this job then you bet they better reveal that and they would, but they haven't taken anything from those three thus far and so they don't have to disclose anything. Again its weird and gets into the realm of conspiracies for some because its an infrastructure job which normally is funded via the prior three stated, and so the intention by many is to ask...where where is the money  you said this project needs, but its not a public project and so they don't need to disclose that info or even have that funding right away.

 

I even mentioned before that in 2015 I still thought this was a pipe dream. Now imagine what investors might have thought. I'm sure investors thought the same for private space companies in the beginning as well. Now its getting more likely this will happen by the day, and if they have everything approved and say they are ready to build then, if I had money, I would invest in something like this. This is a 6 year long job with potential for return over 25 years. That is the best possible investment in regards to real estate and construction. They just have to get there first and its clear that is their aim.

 

The $300 mil from Japan was structured as a loan, but again, that's for planning and not construction.

 

Whether it's a good investment is a whole different can of worms!

 

1 hour ago, Houston19514 said:

 

So, it's possible that JR Central or other Japanese entities are the owners or at least partial owners of Texas Central.  I'm curious how how know that JR Central is not providing any construction funding.

 

I'm assuming that you are asking how I know that JR Central isn't the actual owner? Or providing funding? I don't know that. I was replying to Cougarpad who claimed that Texas Central had plenty of financial backing for construction and I was pointing out that there is no public proof unless I'm missing something tremendous. Cougarpad is also implying that one of the Japanese companies involved are the ones building this line and again, that isn't public info and would be news to the general public that a Japanese company is a part owner. 

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1 hour ago, Luminare said:

 

I'm pretty sure they do and was stipulation for the initial funding. They would be idiots if they didn't. Putting that kind of skin into the game early is risky and asking for partial ownership or ownership stakes is one way to insure the project will be successful.

 

From my understanding, the loans are from the Japanese government and are in a similar style as the Export-Import Bank of the United States, which is primarily used to buy Boeing Airplanes. 

 

The Japanese government would like to continue to export this technology, and they use these organizational loans to make it happen: http://www.join-future.co.jp/english/our-mission/purpose.html

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There's a guy in the Reddit thread that claims to be the rail system director for the project, so I asked him some questions. There's no proof of course, so take it with a grain of salt.

 

I asked how JR Central is involved. He said:

 

Quote

JR Central are part of the Japanese consortium, they will have specific responsibility for ensuring the maintenance and operations rules are correctly used (via JRCs US subsidiary) and for the integration of the core systems , including all dynamic integrated testing, where Rail, Train and Control systems are brought together.

In some ways very similar to the role they have during the construction of a new or upgraded JR line.

 

I asked who else is in the Japanese consortium and if JRC were funding. He replied:

 

Quote

Train is by Hitachi (same as the N700s manufacturer in Japan) , we are taking the basic N700s design and modifying for the Texas environment.

JRC are not funding , I'm not part of that process but I understand it's a mix of Texas investors , Banks (overseas and domestic) and other debt or equity providers.

 

So, there might be some answers. That's more info on funding than I've ever seen reported. 

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1 hour ago, wilcal said:

There's a guy in the Reddit thread that claims to be the rail system director for the project, so I asked him some questions. There's no proof of course, so take it with a grain of salt.

 

I asked how JR Central is involved. He said:

 

 

I asked who else is in the Japanese consortium and if JRC were funding. He replied:

 

 

So, there might be some answers. That's more info on funding than I've ever seen reported. 

 

And the fact that they have a guy like that getting all that stuff together or working on those systems, again actually puts them closer to where they need to be than even I thought. Of course no absolute way to confirm this guy is who he says he is, but everything still checks out from the information provided thus far. Even though the stuff about financing is something new, it also isn't something that can't be done. They can absolutely get all the funding they need from those avenues.

 

Nice digging by the way! I swear we need to start a news/reporting branch for this site.

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Seen on /r/Houston:

 

https://www.railwaygazette.com/news/texas-central-targets-financial-close-by-next-year/54617.article

 

Quote

Houston high speed project promoter Texas Central says it is optimistic of securing financial close by the end of next year, which would enable construction to begin.

 

So that sounds good, but that also means no construction until at least the end of next year?

 

Wasn't the final regulatory hurdle (short of the lawsuit) expected to clear in March?

 

It was interesting to listen to the new Planet Money podcast about how there is a tremendous amount of money looking for investments out there. They explained that Germany (the nation) is currently taking in negative interest bonds because it's safer to loan them the money versus keep it locked up in a bank. Maybe it will be relatively easy to get a $20 billion investment. 

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Looks great, I'm really hoping this come to fruition. Are there any plans to have the site connected to rapid transit? Also, is there a benefit of having the station outside of the CBD? More spread out growth, less centralized/intense gentrification, quicker access to different parts of the city?

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