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High Speed Rail / Texas Triangle


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26 minutes ago, Luminare said:

 

I'm not shocked. If you are in the construction/architecture industry, then you wouldn't be surprised by jumps in costs either. I don't understand how everyone here was ok with $15Billon, but $30Billon, oh no the sky is falling. This project is fine. My estimate is that they will most likely push back there start day until the fall to wait and see how the markets shack out. The fact of the matter is that infrastructure is actually a solid financial investment in terms of long-term investing. With everyone pulling there money out to wait until things settle that only means that TCR has a better chance of approaching more investors once things get back to normal because more money will be floating around from being pulled out previously. If I had money and someone told me about an investment opportunity of a project that would be built over 5 years, is a fixed asset that will get regular use, and it goes to two major metropolitan areas thats an easy sell regarding financing. The numbers provided by McLane is what he needs to do to properly disclose there finances. It doesn't mean that price won't go down. Everything is being inflated because all supply chains have slowed down making things much more expensive. Once things get going again I'm thinking that number is going to fall back down to around $20Billon. I do agree with what they are saying which is the added infrastructure and land reclamation they will have to do to satisfy the Feds, State, and local authorities was bound to balloon the costs, but that happens. Costs always rise on jobs like this. I don't know a single job that said there prices were lower than what they thought without substantially slashing a budget. Most of the budget they can't slash. If you look at there calculations its pretty bread and butter what is needed to make this thing operation. Its external forces which are making this more expensive. If thats the case they can afford to wait a bit, or roll out construction in longer phases.

I'm not surprised by the jump in cost, but an increase of $15 billion is not a drop in the bucket. The price is $30 billion now and just one year ago it was half that. It is starting to sound eerily similar to that of the California bullet train, "its going to cost $30 billion, no wait $50 billion, no wait $78 billion," and then all of a sudden it's all but canceled. If I had the type of money to even consider investing in these large scale projects I would absolutely be worried about the fact that a similar proposal had already failed (albeit it had uneven terrain, tunnels, and different political forces) coupled with the fact that this service would be connecting two decentralized metropolitan areas with little to no real public transport. As much as I want Houston to keep building light rail, I am not going to kid myself and believe that it is at all efficient or even comfortable for business travelers, and that includes Dallas's light rail as well. I'm still team Texas Central, but I do not believe that the price will get lower; just the opposite. I am no expert and I really hope that I'll be proven wrong, but I don't have confidence that this will get off the ground. I'd much rather have heavy rail metro service throughout Houston and Dallas that connect to both airports. 

Edited by HoustonBoy
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23 minutes ago, Luminare said:

 

I'm not shocked. If you are in the construction/architecture industry, then you wouldn't be surprised by jumps in costs either. I don't understand how everyone here was ok with $15Billon, but $30Billon, oh no the sky is falling. This project is fine. My estimate is that they will most likely push back there start day until the fall to wait and see how the markets shack out. The fact of the matter is that infrastructure is actually a solid financial investment in terms of long-term investing. With everyone pulling there money out to wait until things settle that only means that TCR has a better chance of approaching more investors once things get back to normal because more money will be floating around from being pulled out previously. If I had money and someone told me about an investment opportunity of a project that would be built over 5 years, is a fixed asset that will get regular use, and it goes to two major metropolitan areas thats an easy sell regarding financing. The numbers provided by McLane is what he needs to do to properly disclose there finances. It doesn't mean that price won't go down. Everything is being inflated because all supply chains have slowed down making things much more expensive. Once things get going again I'm thinking that number is going to fall back down to around $20Billon. I do agree with what they are saying which is the added infrastructure and land reclamation they will have to do to satisfy the Feds, State, and local authorities was bound to balloon the costs, but that happens. Costs always rise on jobs like this. I don't know a single job that said there prices were lower than what they thought without substantially slashing a budget. Most of the budget they can't slash. If you look at there calculations its pretty bread and butter what is needed to make this thing operation. Its external forces which are making this more expensive. If thats the case they can afford to wait a bit, or roll out construction in longer phases.

 

Hmmm... Usually I would but I actually don't share your enthusiasm. Forget the BS politics over whether or not Texas should be the state leader in high speed rail (to me, that's a given and it's exciting for my state to be the first to do this if we can connect two major cities)... so let's just talk about the financial aspect of us.

 

Based on the article, they are making this sound like this is the year that will determine whether they survive or not. They clearly made a decision as a company to go to a news outlet and let people know this project is certainly in trouble unless they get some new investment. That's very troubling to hear.... I'm not sure if they are hoping this news article will somehow help them find new investors. Next is the price tag... it absolutely does matter that this has ballooned into $30 billion from $15 billion seeing how every year this keeps rising. That means you need to keep raising more capital to keep this even going. Now perhaps I just need to reread it, but nothing in that article made me feel comfortable about this project and it clearly sounds like the people within the company are worried too.

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Just now, Triton said:

Hmmm... Usually I would but I actually don't share your enthusiasm. Forget the BS politics over whether or not Texas should be the state leader in high speed rail (to me, that's a given and it's exciting for my state to be the first to do this if we can connect to major cities)... so let's just talk about the financial aspect of us.

 

Based on the article, they are making this sound like this is the year that will determine whether they survive or not. They clearly made a decision as a company to go to a news outlet and let people know this project is certainly in trouble unless they get some new investment. That's very troubling to hear.... I'm not sure if they are hoping this news article will somehow help them find new investors. Next is the price tag... it absolutely does matter that this has ballooned into $30 billion from $15 billion seeing how every year this keeps rising. That means you need to keep raising more capital to keep this even going. Now perhaps I just need to reread it, but nothing in that article made me feel comfortable about this project and it clearly sounds like the people within the company are worried too.

 

From what I read, they are having the same problems as everyone else. That being: a manufactured economic collapse has caused our project to run into some snags. Everything was going pretty smoothly for them until COVID hit. Something that could not be foreseen, and something which is effecting everyone. It also doesn't help that the impact study takes forever. That impact study alone will make costs go up because of its recommendations/requirements. Plus the more time it takes to get something off the ground the more expensive its going to get as fees for everyone that are part of the team is going to rise over the duration they aren't in construction. The utility of that can be saved for another day. The fact of the matter is that it was heading in the right direction, and was doing everything right until an unexpected circumstance threw a wrench into there plans. This current economic situation is both unprecedented, but its also not normal circumstances. Its unfair to judge this project and its viability when most Fortune 500 companies were struggling to stay afloat under the same strain. Its not because the project is bad, or there ideas or bad, but the climate that surrounds them is bad. But remember this climate that surrounds them isn't going to last forever. Yes they are putting out info because it was necessary for them to do so, are you saying that it would have been better for them to not ask and just fold instead? I'm glad they came out asking and were honest about the current situation. That means they believe in there product, and don't want this to fail because of the virus and subsequent manufactured decline that came out of it.

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3 hours ago, Big E said:

 

They're looking for loans, not handouts. Nobody could have predicted the damage the Coronavirus has wrought on society economically. Unfortunately, massive infrastructure projects like this are going to get squeezed and that's unavoidable. 

 

"...monies we hope to receive from President Trump's infrastructure stimulus through the Department of Transportation"

 

that money is not a loan

 

The original proposals for this project touted private money only. They assured folks that no tax money would be used. As expected, that was a lie.

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Yes. How dare they not predict a global pandemic.

 

The linked article specifically mentions loans, but realistically they will (and should) pursue whatever money ultimately might be made available by the federal government, whether that's loans or grants.

 

And this is one project I would be *very* happy to see my taxes going toward.

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35 minutes ago, gmac said:

 

"...monies we hope to receive from President Trump's infrastructure stimulus through the Department of Transportation"

 

that money is not a loan

 

The original proposals for this project touted private money only. They assured folks that no tax money would be used. As expected, that was a lie.

 

What would you do if you were in there shoes? Would you just fold, and quit? I guarantee you if that was your company you would do anything possible after all the money spent, after all the hurdles you had to cross, and all the opposition that was in your way, yet prevailed, and were on the eve of breaking ground. You can not tell me you would do anything different. You would do the exact same thing. Unless your that much of a rigid and stubborn idealist. We no longer live in ideal times. I certainly don't care for stimulus's, or TCR potentially taking out these loans. They were very much upholding there principles when they were charging ahead. I hope they stick to those principles, but I will not fault them if they have to violate those principles just, so they can live to fight another day. That would simply be wrong to demand from anyone. I think things will rebound and they won't have to take those loans, but again its hard to criticize them under such extreme circumstances, and pragmatically speaking for a project that has potential like this, they should do whatever it takes to survive, and in this climate that is the only thing that matters. When calamity is at your door step, its not exactly the time to be stubborn. Those that do, don't survive.

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1 hour ago, gmac said:

 

"...monies we hope to receive from President Trump's infrastructure stimulus through the Department of Transportation"

 

that money is not a loan

 

The original proposals for this project touted private money only. They assured folks that no tax money would be used. As expected, that was a lie.

 

How do you know "that money is not a loan"?  You don't.  You can't; since I'm pretty sure the "infrastructure stimulus" does not yet exist.

 

More importantly, the article also says:  "Aguilar said any funds from the U.S. government that Texas Central would seek would be in the form of loans."

Edited by Houston19514
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Just as most of you love skyscrapers, a concept I find to be outmoded (I'm more of a low-rise architecture fan), you appear to love this fantastical train idea. I would prefer public investments go to designing and implementing highway changes/upgrades to safely handle autonomous vehicles.

 

Let's see what happens. I'm willing to bet that if this thing does come to fruition it will cost north of $40 billion and a large chunk of that will be taken from the public wallet.

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I completely agree with you that skyscrapers are over-fetishized, but how exactly is this train a fantastical idea? Why does Texas deserve high speed trains less than Japan? or France? or Spain? Have you ever ridden a true high speed train? Is it really that hard to understand that there are people who, at least for some trips, would actually prefer to take a train rather than drive or fly? The fact that a train is *far* more efficient is just icing.

Edited by Texasota
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3 hours ago, Texasota said:

 how exactly is this train a fantastical idea?

 

Because right now it exists only in people's imaginations.

 

I have ridden tens of thousands of miles on trains in my life. They serve their purpose, but not here, in my mind. I understand that others heartily disagree with me.

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3 hours ago, Texasota said:

I completely agree with you that skyscrapers are over-fetishized, but how exactly is this train a fantastical idea? Why does Texas deserve high speed trains less than Japan? or France? or Spain? Have you ever ridden a true high speed train? Is it really that hard to understand that there are people who, at least for some trips, would actually prefer to take a train rather than drive or fly? The fact that a train is *far* more efficient is just icing.

I would LOVE for this train to come to fruition in Texas. I think we could sustain it and develop a new culture within Texas that appreciates trains and regards them as equal in terms of transportation options, but the problem is that we would have to create that culture from scratch whereas all the countries you mentioned already have that culture (and infrastructure) in place. I have ridden high speed trains and subway systems all across France and Spain and in every community/major city where I've arrived there is a HUGE population of dense urban residents who do not see trains as a convenient second transportation option, they see it as their main/only option. What good are trains when you have to rent a car just to get from the station to the main parts of a city? If our cities weren't so spread out and if our politicians saw the redundancy and ineffectiveness of highways then maybe we would be able to make a more concrete case for the role of trains in our state, but unfortunately we are not there yet. It'll take proactive infrastructure development and a change in the ways in which Texas residents perceive trains. 

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14 hours ago, gmac said:

Just as most of you love skyscrapers, a concept I find to be outmoded (I'm more of a low-rise architecture fan), you appear to love this fantastical train idea. I would prefer public investments go to designing and implementing highway changes/upgrades to safely handle autonomous vehicles.

 

Let's see what happens. I'm willing to bet that if this thing does come to fruition it will cost north of $40 billion and a large chunk of that will be taken from the public wallet.

 

People want alternatives.  All over the world, when given the option, HSR wins against airlines for distances such as Dallas - Houston.  We already invest plenty in highways.  

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12 hours ago, gmac said:

 

Because right now it exists only in people's imaginations.

 

I have ridden tens of thousands of miles on trains in my life. They serve their purpose, but not here, in my mind. I understand that others heartily disagree with me.

 

This translate to: I rode a lot of trains before when I didn't have a car in other cities, but since I have a car here I don't think it should be built.

 

Also why do you care how much it costs? Its a private company and even if they did use SOME public money, It's NOWHERE near the price of the roughly 7-10 billion for the i45 project thats only 24 miles long in 1 city VS the 0 dollars from public wallet (40 billion PRIVATE) for 240 miles serving 2 of the largest cities in America. Also this will have a huge economic impact in a sector we don't have in Texas. Students from A&M will use these during holidays or visiting family in Dallas/ Houston (I have friends who discussed this already :)), the thousands of businessmen/ women who travel between the cities each week, during big events (maybe even the World Cup 2026), the fact that this will create 1,500 permanent jobs, the fact that they will pay taxes to state and local counties (highways don't :)), when big companies choose cities for their events or projects they look at mass transportation (one of the reasons amazon didn't pick Houston). So its clearly obvious that this project would have a MASSIVE impact on the city and state in general, but since you don't think it would benefit you personally, its "fantastical"  

Edited by Amlaham
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11 hours ago, Amlaham said:

 

This translate to: I rode a lot of trains before when I didn't have a car in other cities, but since I have a car here I don't think it should be built.

 

Also why do you care how much it costs? Its a private company and even if they did use SOME public money, It's NOWHERE near the price of the roughly 7-10 billion for the i45 project thats only 24 miles long in 1 city VS the 0 dollars from public wallet (40 billion PRIVATE) for 240 miles serving 2 of the largest cities in America. Also this will have a huge economic impact in a sector we don't have in Texas. Students from A&M will use these during holidays or visiting family in Dallas/ Houston (I have friends who discussed this already :)), the thousands of businessmen/ women who travel between the cities each week, during big events (maybe even the World Cup 2026), the fact that this will create 1,500 permanent jobs, the fact that they will pay taxes to state and local counties (highways don't :)), when big companies choose cities for their events or projects they look at mass transportation (one of the reasons amazon didn't pick Houston). So its clearly obvious that this project would have a MASSIVE impact on the city and state in general, but since you don't think it would benefit you personally, its "fantastical"  

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

http://texasrailadvocates.org/2020/07/16/extraordinary-stb-decision-texas-central-railway-is-part-of-the-interstate-rail-network/

 

Quote

In a 15 page decision, the Surface Transportation Board affirmed that Texas Central Railway is officially part of the interstate rail network. In its finding the SurfBoard indicated that “due to substantially changed circumstances, the Board now finds that the proposed rail line would be constructed and operated as part of the interstate rail network and therefore subject to Board jurisdiction.”  Texas Central had argued that its through-ticketing and transfer arrangements with Amtrak would establish Board jurisdiction.

 

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3 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

 

Cool  (And now we can see the primary purpose of TCR having entered into the through-ticketing arrangement with Amtrak... Genius!)

 

Yeah, that's super smart. Not that I thought there was a serious chance of the lower courts ruling being overturned by the Texas Supreme court, but this is a massive blow to the opposition. If i didn't know better I'd say the case is pretty much open and shut now.

Now if they could only secure the rest of the funding . . .

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  • 2 months later...
  • 1 month later...

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-11-01/fortress-fails-to-sell-record-bond-deal-for-las-vegas-rail

 

Vegas to Southern California fails to sell their bonds. Have to think that's a much more desirable market than Houston to Dallas.

 

Quote

Fortress Investment Group is postponing its plan to build a train to Las Vegas from Southern California after failing to sell a record amount of unrated municipal debt to finance the speculative project, showing the limits of investor appetite amid an economic downturn.

 
 

Since the end of September, Fortress, through its company Brightline Holdings, had been marketing $3.2 billion of debt to be issued through California and Nevada agencies. It subsequently reduced the size to a still-record offering of $2.4 billion and tried to purchase some of the bonds it sold for a Florida rail as a way to entice investors to commit to the Las Vegas sale before terminating that buyback offer Friday.

 
 

“Unfortunately there is not a lot of liquidity in the market and a lot of economic uncertainty at this moment,” California Treasurer Fiona Ma said Saturday by email. “The project is postponed until market liquidity improves.”

 

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Issue with LA-Vegas is the line is not technically LA-Vegas, it is currently planned to Vegas-Victorville with an extension in the future to LA. That means Angelenos would have to drive at least 75-90 minutes to reach Victorville. No one would want to do that. The line will only be successful if they make it go to Union Station, which they're unable to do at the moment. Not surprised it is delayed, their plan isn't the best from the start. With that said, I wouldn't compare CA's situation with HSR with Texas. I do believe HSR Texas can be successful, but CA has just had too many hiccups and negative press on both their LA-Bay Area and LA-Vegas proposals to really see the actual plans being a success. 

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On 11/23/2020 at 5:07 PM, Andrew Ewert said:

I will never get over how a few dozen or hundred property owners are holding hostage an infrastructure project that will benefit millions and be a major win for the environment. Just take your fair payout and let the rest of the world make progress.

Also the land needed for the rail line is not that massive with a good chunk of the rail going through a power line corridor. The rail line also is raised so if this has to do do with cattle than I'm sure a cow can go underneath the raised rail like cars would at an intersection. Would these landowners rather TEXDOT build a massive freeway through their property to help ease congestion between Houston and Dallas?

Edited by cougarpad
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5 hours ago, cougarpad said:

Also the land needed for the rail line is not that massive with a good chunk of the rail going through a power line corridor. The rail line also is raised so if this has to do do with cattle than I'm sure a cow can go underneath the raised rail like cars would at an intersection. Would these landowners rather TEXDOT build a massive freeway through their property to help ease congestion between Houston and Dallas?

 

I suspect this doesn't have anything really to do with cattle or power line corridors.  If the proposal was to build a new highway in this same corridor you'd still get the same opposition.  From their perspective, you're altering the landscape they love and grew up with and not adding any benefit for them other than a few dollars.  Why wouldn't some people oppose that?

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I don't understand why Texas Central doesn't even try to placate them with small stations in each county; you can have local trains that stop there, but still have express trains that make the 90 minute trip between Houston & Dallas

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21 hours ago, gmac said:

I have to believe that everyone pulling for this thing to be rammed through is also fine with the I-45 expansion. I mean it's just people's land, right?

 

I mean, everyone was apparently fine with building highways to no end that take up way more property/homes than a rail line ever would (and continue to take up more even after they are built!), so I see it as a bit hypocritical to be staunchly opposed to a rail line for these reasons. 

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21 hours ago, gmac said:

I have to believe that everyone pulling for this thing to be rammed through is also fine with the I-45 expansion. I mean it's just people's land, right?

 

the displacement of homes, families, communities and businesses from the corridor are also a huge negative factor of both wider freeways, and new rail projects, and if that were the only factor in the equation, then sure, I'd be staunchly against both.

 

the thing is, there's more involved in the equation...

 

with a wider freeway, there's going to be a lot more air pollution introduced to the region.

there's numerous studies that wider freeways don't actually fix the problem the politicians say they fix (IE: reducing traffic, increasing overall speeds, reducing accidents). there are actually studies that show that making freeways wider will make congestion worse, and that the rate of accidents will not decline.

 

with this HSR project, there's going to be less need for air travel, and car travel, thus reducing pollution from airplanes. 

with the HSR the rail is electric so the source can be anything from coal to renewable to nuclear. but the direct impact to the region will be less.

add to that travelers may choose to rail rather than drive, so now there's less congestion on these rural roads, maybe the state doesn't need to create town bypasses taking homes/land anyway.

 

so no, HSR isn't at all associative to the i45 project.

  

3 minutes ago, mfastx said:

 

I mean, everyone was apparently fine with building highways to no end that take up way more property/homes than a rail line ever would (and continue to take up more even after they are built!), so I see it as a bit hypocritical to be staunchly opposed to a rail line for these reasons. 

 

yup, if we're going to apply the simplest of correlations one way, it has to be true the other right?

 

if you are against the HSR, you must be against the i45 project!

Edited by samagon
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I am for both projects, but also for different reasons:

 

HSR - Reducing the need for car travel between Houston and Dallas / plus greater economic connectivity / shortened travel time.

 

i45 - Removing more above ground freeway / park caps / improved infrastructure / a better looking core

 

Each have positives and negatives. However both are a slam dunk IMO. 

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The two projects are both large infrastructure, with about the same price tag, but the similarities break down after that.

 

The I-45 expansion is going to be 100% government funded, built, and maintained.  It's construction impact will be entirely in one part of the Houston (downtown & north Houston), while the benefits will be mostly for those who want to get from north-northwest Houston area to downtown and back.  It will displace about a 1000 people from their current homes, as well as businesses and other organization.  That being said, it might be justified to as 45-North is one of the spines of Houston.

 

Texas Central Rail is primarily privately funded; the land has to be paid for by a private company (even if acquired through eminent domain), the construction won't start unless they raise the capital the need, and it will be run and maintained by the private company to make money. The government will only pay for administrative and regulatory stuff that the government itself is imposing, as well as TxDot will rebuild road crossings where the line will cross.  So right there, the big $40 billion price tag is not on us (the public) but on the private investors who think they can make money.  

Additionally, the 1000 parcels that they need to acquire aren't 1000 homes - they're pieces of land that is used for farming and such right now.  It will definitely not be available to farm, but losing an acre of crop space is very different from losing your home.  And the land would be an easement, only for RR use - if they can't raise their $40B, then it stays farmland.  Finally, even a HSR is going to be much narrower than a freeway - it's about the width of a two-lane highway, which is narrower than the amount 45 is going to be expanded.

 

And since the train is going from Houston - Dallas, it's primarily for everyone in Houston & Dallas who would want to travel to the other place.  That's the only thing they could add - local stops in the counties, advertising a quick, seamless connection to DFW or IAH to the people who have to drive hours right now to fly anywhere.

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1 hour ago, cspwal said:

And since the train is going from Houston - Dallas, it's primarily for everyone in Houston & Dallas who would want to travel to the other place.  That's the only thing they could add - local stops in the counties, advertising a quick, seamless connection to DFW or IAH to the people who have to drive hours right now to fly anywhere.

 

Which would neuter its very purpose of providing a rapid link between the two major cities. Plus, the stations at either end, as proposed, are nowhere near any airports.

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You can have express trains and local trains on the same line; the counties are large enough that you can have acceleration space for the locals between each station so they don't slow down the express trains, and you can also put in points in the track for passing.

 

And I was thinking of a TCR branded shuttle service, where you pay TCR the same price as parking at IAH for that time period, and park at the rural station, and you would get a train ride to the station, with a shuttle to bring you to the airport, with your bags transferred from the train to shuttle.  It could be run as a loss leader to get people used to riding the train into town, or run to make a profit

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5 hours ago, cspwal said:

You can have express trains and local trains on the same line

 

From TCR's own website:

 

"The Texas High-Speed Train will operate on secure, separate, closed tracks dedicated fully to high-speed passenger trains with no sharing with freight or other passenger rail services, and no dangerous roadway intersections for vehicles, pedestrians or animals to have to cross."

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10 hours ago, gmac said:

 

From TCR's own website:

 

"The Texas High-Speed Train will operate on secure, separate, closed tracks dedicated fully to high-speed passenger trains with no sharing with freight or other passenger rail services, and no dangerous roadway intersections for vehicles, pedestrians or animals to have to cross."

 

I think by that they mean not sharing with conventional freight or passenger (amtrak) service.  That's how it works in Japan also.  They could certainly add stations and passing tracks if they wanted.  Now whether that would make sense given the rural nature of the route is a different question.  If they add stations at some point I suspect those might be to additional locations in DFW and Houston.

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17 hours ago, Avossos said:

I am for both projects, but also for different reasons:

 

HSR - Reducing the need for car travel between Houston and Dallas / plus greater economic connectivity / shortened travel time.

 

i45 - Removing more above ground freeway / park caps / improved infrastructure / a better looking core

 

Each have positives and negatives. However both are a slam dunk IMO. 

 

Is HSR really oriented towards eliminating car trips? From what I read, they are going to try to be competitive with air on ticket prices and transit time.  Unless the ticket prices are going to be way lower than airline tickets, most people opting for the train would have been considering flying, not driving.

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20 hours ago, august948 said:

 

Is HSR really oriented towards eliminating car trips? From what I read, they are going to try to be competitive with air on ticket prices and transit time.  Unless the ticket prices are going to be way lower than airline tickets, most people opting for the train would have been considering flying, not driving.

 

For people who drive between Houston and Dallas regularly, we're talking daily or weekly, it very well might be better for them overall than loading up a car, driving the long miles, on their gas, to do whatever is they got to do, then driving back.

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5 hours ago, Big E said:

 

For people who drive between Houston and Dallas regularly, we're talking daily or weekly, it very well might be better for them overall than loading up a car, driving the long miles, on their gas, to do whatever is they got to do, then driving back.

 

Wouldn't most of those folks already be flying, then?

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10 hours ago, august948 said:

 

Wouldn't most of those folks already be flying, then?

 

Depends on if they'd rather pay for the plane ticket or just drive the distance. Either way, the train would be good third option, and probably cheaper than both in the long run.

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You know, like the Acela/NE Corridor. It pulls from people who would other drive, people who would otherwise fly, and people who wouldn't make the trip at all.

 

I have no idea how mane people are likely to regularly travel between Houston and Dallas, but bringing the trip time under two hours AND having it be far more comfortable than flying definitely makes it seem a lot more accessible.

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9 hours ago, Big E said:

 

Depends on if they'd rather pay for the plane ticket or just drive the distance. Either way, the train would be good third option, and probably cheaper than both in the long run.

 

Good third option, yes.  Cheaper than both, no.

 

The google maps distance between downtown Dallas and downtown Houston shows 241 miles.  My f150 averages about 13 mpg which comes out to about 19 gallons one way.  We'll round that up to 20 and multiply by $1.60 per gallon (close enough, I think I paid $1.55 the other day at sam's club) and we get $32.  That's $64 round trip in direct cost (not including the inevitably expensive Buc-ee's stops).  Just to quell the "but, but oil, tires and maintenance!" arguments we'll round that up to $100 round trip.  Is that even close to round trip airfare and whatever round trip hsr tickets will cost?  Probably not.

 

This is a good third option, and hopefully the start of a bigger and more useful network, but I wouldn't count on this significantly impacting road traffic between here and Dallas.  The people shelling out for this would probably have shelled out for a plane ticket unless the hsr tickets are going to come in closer to what you have to pay in gas to drive it.

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8 hours ago, august948 said:

 

Good third option, yes.  Cheaper than both, no.

 

The google maps distance between downtown Dallas and downtown Houston shows 241 miles.  My f150 averages about 13 mpg which comes out to about 19 gallons one way.  We'll round that up to 20 and multiply by $1.60 per gallon (close enough, I think I paid $1.55 the other day at sam's club) and we get $32.  That's $64 round trip in direct cost (not including the inevitably expensive Buc-ee's stops).  Just to quell the "but, but oil, tires and maintenance!" arguments we'll round that up to $100 round trip.  Is that even close to round trip airfare and whatever round trip hsr tickets will cost?  Probably not.

 

 

When I travel from the company office in Houston to the one in Dallas I am allowed 250 miles each way for reimbursement purposes. If the current rate the IRS allows is $0.55/mile that comes to $275.00 for a round trip by personal automobile (fuel, wear and tear, insurance, etc.). That compares very favorably to round trip air fare + transportation to and from Love Field to the Dallas office + parking at Hobby. An added advantage is I can stop at any one of several Dairy Queens along the way for a DQ treat. ☺️ If I took HSR I would still need transportation to the rail station from the home office and to the other office or hotel.

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