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cspwal

Dallas - Houston HSR Station

Where do you want the Texas Central Station be?  

113 members have voted

  1. 1. Where should the station be?

    • Downtown
      82
    • NW Mall site
      26
    • Near IAH
      1
    • South Houston location
      0
    • Out west along 99/beltway 8/highway 6
      1
    • Somewhere else...
      3


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I figured to have a new place to talk about the station to relieve the Texas Triangle thread, I'd ask where people would like to see the station end up. I added a few more options than just NW mall and downtown.

Edited by cspwal

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Good idea, I'd rather have the main TCR thread about project updates and discussion on the project as a whole. 

 

Advantage to downtown site: 

-Connection with METRORail (and thus access to downtown, museum district, UH, TMC and Reliant quickly without a car)

-More centrally located, closer to Downtown, TMC, Greenway, major universities, both airports, museum area, etc. 

-Closer/better access to more freeways and also the potential for a development that would incorporate Amtrak and Greyhound terminals (unlikely but nice to have the option in the future)

 

Advantage to 290 location: 

-Closer to uptown, energy corridor, western suburbs

-POTENTIAL connection to BRT system up Post Oak (not sure if it will go all the way to NW Mall)

-SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper, which is really why TCR is considering this site in the first place

 

 

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I won't vote until there is an option for River Oaks. The thought has occurred to me that the main purpose for people traveling from Dallas would be to go to the 31 flavors across from Lamar high school, may as well put them right there.

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No it should be the HSR station is at NW mall, but a maglev train connects it to downtown, IAH, and the woodlands

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Adjacent to the NW Transit Center would be more suitable than the NW Mall location.

 

The Northwest Transit Center is unique in that there's actually purchased and cleared right of way for such a high capacity mass transit corridor.

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Might as well make it go to every single house while we're assuming unlimited funds :)

 

You'd want to go to their front doors, because as we all know, going into people's backyards would be hated.

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No it should be the HSR station is at NW mall, but a maglev train connects it to downtown, IAH, and the woodlands

See now I would like that also... I guess my train of thought is if people are being dumped downtown then it will force retail and other developments due to the huge increase of people.

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Bush Airport to downtown.

Knock out two birds with one stone.

Unfortunately I think we'll have to wait for this one.

I would like to see IAH-Downtown-HOU eventually. No stops in between. Of course, I guess you extend that same line north to the Wood Hood, and south to GTown. But that's another story.

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Might as well make it go to every single house while we're assuming unlimited funds :)

 

Can we run it down Richmond through Afton Oaks?  Since there won't be a light rail line there, there's an opening.  :P

 

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From I-10 to 290, all of the cleared land is designated a High Capacity Transit Corridor.

 

What cleared land?  By whom was this designation made?  When was it made?

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Isn't ( or wasn't) there an "intermodal" station noted for land just north and west of the downtown CBD, on original plans for the Red Line?  I always expected that could be the place that intercity bullet transport, and possibly commuter rail, was to intersect the Houston light rail network.  I'm not sure, but I think the intermodal location would have had something in common with planned Hardy Yards redevelopment?

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From I-10 to 290, all of the cleared land is designated a High Capacity Transit Corridor.

 

Thanks.  I found what you are apparently referring to.   The plans show a 50-foot corridor running north from the Northwest Transit Center to Hempstead Highway, and then following the Hempstead Highway corridor out to the northwest, meeting up with 290 just west of the Beltway. 

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How about some meaningful info.

 

www.texascentral.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Step-1-Screening-of-Corridor-Alternatives-Report.pdf

 

 

Page 111 of the pdf shows a Houston station location comparison chart. Several other very interesting pages as well.

 

Also a quote: "Based on this initial screening, the preferred station area for Houston is the location around the intersection of US 290 and IH-610" on page 112.

Edited by Sparrow

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Page 43 (or page 30) assumes the Houston terminal to be where the Amtrak station and the Post Office land is located....

 

Edit: but that was for the BNSF route; still reading through this

Edited by BigFootsSocks

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This pretty much says it all;

 

It is recognized that development of the “Last Mile” into heavily urbanized and developed areas may generate additional ridership demand, particularly with respect to trip destinations. However, reaching the downtown station locations would require significant construction costs and result in additional impacts that would likely not be offset by the additional revenue gained from the ridership increase. Moreover, from the perspective of trip originations, there has been some evidence on HSR systems worldwide that suburban stations are more attractive since users of the system would not need to make their way into the urban core to begin their trip to a distant city. The identification of the preferred station locations has been the subject of significant ridership and engineering studies and will be documented separately from this report.

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These are the station location's that were studied;

 

- Greenspoint Area

- Downtown – Post Office site

- Downtown – Hardy Yards

- South of Exxon Mobil Campus 

- Intersection of US 290/IH-610

- Intersection of US 290/Beltway 8

- Intersection of SH 249/Beltway 8 

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So they literally say that the "last mile" would generate more ridership but at the same time they rate the downtown Houston location lower than the 290 station.  However, they rate the downtown Dallas station the highest possible rating for ridership, which is strange.  They say the ridership studies are "ongoing" which basically means they're not done yet, so I'd like to see how they arrived at that conclusion.  

 

But really this doesn't matter, going downtown is too expensive and I don't think they ever seriously considered it.  This is just a formality. 

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What they stated in the report was that there is an increased ridership for an extension into downtown Houston, but that the increased numbers were NOT enough to cover the additional cost of moving the line further into downtown. Which kinda sucks, but at the same time, the engineering and construction challenges for elevating the line into downtown as an extension of the Utility Corridor alignment would be pretty intense.

 

 

REMINDER; THIS PDF HAS A DATE OF MARCH 22. THAT'S PRETTY OLD IF YOU REALLY THINK ABOUT IT IN OUR FAST-PACED SOCIETY. THINGS COULD CHANGE. I MEAN, THEY ALWAYS DO, BECAUSE THEY ARE THINGS, BUT THESE SPECIFIC THINGS COULD CHANGE. WHO KNOWS.

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What they stated in the report was that there is an increased ridership for an extension into downtown Houston, but that the increased numbers were NOT enough to cover the additional cost of moving the line further into downtown. Which kinda sucks, but at the same time, the engineering and construction challenges for elevating the line into downtown as an extension of the Utility Corridor alignment would be pretty intense.

 

 

REMINDER; THIS PDF HAS A DATE OF MARCH 22. THAT'S PRETTY OLD IF YOU REALLY THINK ABOUT IT IN OUR FAST-PACED SOCIETY. THINGS COULD CHANGE. I MEAN, THEY ALWAYS DO, BECAUSE THEY ARE THINGS, BUT THESE SPECIFIC THINGS COULD CHANGE. WHO KNOWS.

 

The US 290/610 station location scores a "3" for ridership/revenue potential on the stoplight chart on pg. 111 of the pdf, while a Downtown station only scores a "2". This rather clearly shows they view that the 290/610 location will lead to higher ridership than a Downtown station would. Where does it say otherwise?

 

While the study is dated March of this year, the letter from the CEO is from August alluding to a series of FAQ they've presented to preempt possible questions, so it's not as if they've conducted a whole new analysis of the possibilities since then coming to a completely different outcome.

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The US 290/610 station location scores a "3" for ridership/revenue potential on the stoplight chart on pg. 111 of the pdf, while a Downtown station only scores a "2". This rather clearly shows they view that the 290/610 location will lead to higher ridership than a Downtown station would. Where does it say otherwise?

 

While the study is dated March of this year, the letter from the CEO is from August alluding to a series of FAQ they've presented to preempt possible questions, so it's not as if they've conducted a whole new analysis of the possibilities since then coming to a completely different outcome.

Sorry if it wasn't clear, but in the report posted above, TCR stated that having a train station at 610, and a station at Downtown would create an increased ridership (because of the extension into Downtown) but would not be enough the per-mile cost.

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These are the station location's that were studied;

 

Boo to not having one near 99; like I said before when you told me I was overreacting, this train will add no direct benefit to Cypress :/.

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Boo to not having one near 99; like I said before when you told me I was overreacting, this train will add no direct benefit to Cypress :/.

 

The train goes to Dallas. Citizens of Dallas will be the only ones to truly benefit.

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The train goes to Dallas. Citizens of Dallas will be the only ones to truly benefit.

 

Yes, but considering the population epicenter shift of the metro continues to slide westward and fast, one could assume that in 15-20 years that there will be decent ridership at the 290@99 juncture for picking up passengers along the way. Secondly, the only feasible ROW for what would connect Cypress to Houston via some sort of commuter rail someday will now be used by this train; that's the main rub for me personally, they're utilizing the ROW that Cypress would need to be connected to Houston's mass transit and not providing a stop along the way for those residents. If someone has to drive all the way out from there to 290@bw8, there's much less of a chance that they will try and utilize the line for the last few miles of it. There's not a whole lot of residential at 290@bw8 outside of the NE corner in Jersey Village.

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Boo to not having one near 99; like I said before when you told me I was overreacting, this train will add no direct benefit to Cypress :/.

I might've missed it, but I'm pretty sure I saw a Cypress station. I don't remember saying that, but it makes sense, as that statement is a complete overreaction itself.

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I might've missed it, but I'm pretty sure I saw a Cypress station. I don't remember saying that, but it makes sense, as that statement is a complete overreaction itself.

 

Where is that Cypress station mentioned again in the most recent announcement?

 

You can argue that I'm overreacting and you can argue that regardless of what happens to Cypress, there may be greater good for Houston as a whole to have this project.  What I haven't seen anyone shed light on when I ask is how the following situations be handled given the current alignment:

 

1. How will HSR build roadway overpasses high enough over the corridor ROW that can also depress back down to it's original elevation where it crosses under 290 just a block away? HSR has claimed that overpasses will likely need to be built for roadway crossings, given that reinforcing an underpass would be much more expensive and prone to more issues, yet several of the crossings involve roads that cross under 290 a very short distance afterwards, like here or here or here or here even here at huffmeister when you consider the length needed to build the overpass for hwy 6 visible just south of it. This isn't even mentioning all the future necessary crossings that will have to take place as the land around grand parkway gets built out. Just looking here, you can see that greenhouse will need to cross when it eventually connects with Skinner, same as Mason rd. when it gets extended up from Katy to where it terminates in Fairfield, same as Katy-Hockley rd., and many other arterial roads I can't think of off the top of my head. I know that they are very open to considerations but I somehow doubt the willingness of HSR and/or Harris or Waller county to fund all these necessary overpasses, if they are even feasible given the close proximity between the rail corridor and 290.

 

*Even if an underpass proves to be more feasible than assumed, a lot of those intersections are still not feasible given the tight amount of space.

 

2. Where will the ROW be for future commuter rail out from Cypress into town? That may seem like a far cry of a necessity now, but one day it will undoubtedly be needed to service all major suburbs in town. This was the only continuous existing rail corridor that goes parallel from 290 into Houston. This could have an even greater long-term negative impact on the Cypress area if other communities like Sugarland, Katy, The Woodlands, Champions/Tomball/Spring, Kingwood, etc. eventually do get their own commuter rail lines off existing nearby rail corridors that go towards the inner loop.

Edited by curbur
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Roads can change elevations a lot in a short distance - for example 45 downtown where it goes over the bayou and the under Dallas (the Dallas Dip).  Granted that's not great for a highway, but for a road that is about to have a traffic light it's not that bad.

 

I suspect that TCR doesn't really care a whole bunch about commuter rail - they are focused on what they want to do (inter-city high speed rail) and will work with the area's to build in commuter rail if asked/it's not too expensive, but I doubt they are wringing their hands over commuter rail ROW

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Roads can change elevations a lot in a short distance - for example 45 downtown where it goes over the bayou and the under Dallas (the Dallas Dip).  Granted that's not great for a highway, but for a road that is about to have a traffic light it's not that bad.

 

I suspect that TCR doesn't really care a whole bunch about commuter rail - they are focused on what they want to do (inter-city high speed rail) and will work with the area's to build in commuter rail if asked/it's not too expensive, but I doubt they are wringing their hands over commuter rail ROW

 

I could see where it could work for Fry rd or Huffmeister in those examples, however, I still don't see how it would be possible for Telge, West, or Eldridge, but I'd gladly stand corrected if they can make it feasible. In regards to that aspect, my only concern is that they connect across still, so if they can manage that anyway possible then it will be acceptable for those communities.

 

As for the latter point, I'm well aware TCR could give a flying f*ck about commuter rail for Cypress or what the impacts of not having it might be long-term, that's why I'm trying to point it out. I currently live in town, but grew up in Cypress and have a lot of family and friends there, and I just don't want to see them get screwed in the name of progress for the city as a whole. Potentially cutting off even some of these arterial roadways and possibly preventing future ones or commuter rail from being built will have a very tangible long-term negative effect on traffic in an area of town that is quickly becoming too populated already. I fear city and county officials are also going to be willing to screw over a few bedroom communities along 290 (if necessary for the project's completion) in order to better provide for the city as a whole.

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I could see where it could work for Fry rd or Huffmeister in those examples, however, I still don't see how it would be possible for Telge, West, or Eldridge, but I'd gladly stand corrected if they can make it feasible. In regards to that aspect, my only concern is that they connect across still, so if they can manage that anyway possible then it will be acceptable for those communities.

 

As for the latter point, I'm well aware TCR could give a flying f*ck about commuter rail for Cypress or what the impacts of not having it might be long-term, that's why I'm trying to point it out. I currently live in town, but grew up in Cypress and have a lot of family and friends there, and I just don't want to see them get screwed in the name of progress for the city as a whole. Potentially cutting off even some of these arterial roadways and possibly preventing future ones or commuter rail from being built will have a very tangible long-term negative effect on traffic in an area of town that is quickly becoming too populated already. I fear city and county officials are also going to be willing to screw over a few bedroom communities along 290 (if necessary for the project's completion) in order to better provide for the city as a whole.

 

It may feel noble, but that's just displaced NIMBYism, you realize.

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It may feel noble, but that's just displaced NIMBYism, you realize.

 

It certainly is NIMBYism and I never said it wasn't, but I personally think there's a stark difference when you're being NIMBY in regards to one or two suburban neighborhoods vs an entire set of bedroom communities/suburbs, and I also think there's a difference of being NIMBY between when one is discussing an impact involving minor aesthetic, noise, or pollution issues and entirely another when we're talking about the impact a project has on traffic mobility for a rapidly growing part of the 4th largest city in the U.S. Do you understand how backed up some of these roads get during rush hour? Now imagine if half of them were all of a sudden cut off and did not go across 290 and rail line to connect with their southern portions? The remaining roads that do connect, primarily strung with large residential neighborhoods and a few small strip malls will become a logistical nightmare, and that's a generous assessment because in a lot of ways they already are now. Is it really just NIMBY concerns when we're talking several thousands of people could be impacted negatively?

 

Look, I'm not saying the train shouldn't be built, it was an eventuality that was going to happen sooner or later anyways. With that being said, I have to believe there's another solution that could be made that helps accommodate leaving some ROW for commuter rail or integrating it into the existing HSR line by adding one or two infrequently visited stops along 290 on the way in, and there also needs to be some forward thinking when it comes to all the crossings existing or planned running south to north up from I-10 to 290. I figure the more I can point it out and try and get others to address it with HSR like I am attempting to do, then the better the chance I hope that they will try and accommodate those matters. Lastly, I completely understand why these types of complaints would be a relatively unpopular opinion on an architecture and city planning forum.

Edited by curbur
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Who says the roads have to go up and down? Why can't the High Speed railroad be sunken along 290, and have the existing freight railroads and crossings remain intact?

Edited by IronTiger
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Who says the roads have to go up and down? Why can't the High Speed railroad be sunken along 290, and have the existing freight railroads and crossings remain intact?

Why has no one mentioned the obvious answer is an elevated track from Houston terminus down 290?

Lol I don't see the confusion there

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Actually I think that was in a rendering somewhere...and it showed the current rail ROW untouched

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Actually I think that was in a rendering somewhere...and it showed the current rail ROW untouched

 

I'd love to take a look at that if anyone has it offhand.

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