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Dallas - Houston HSR Station

Where do you want the Texas Central Station be?  

107 members have voted

  1. 1. Where should the station be?

    • Downtown
      78
    • NW Mall site
      24
    • Near IAH
      1
    • South Houston location
      0
    • Out west along 99/beltway 8/highway 6
      1
    • Somewhere else...
      3


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By the way curbur, my reasoning for a Cypress station was because of the meeting a few of us member here had with TCR President Judge Eckles (mouthful), where it was rumored that METRO would have the chance to build a commuter line parallel to the established railway line, underneath the HSR tracks (which, as this should answer your first question, will be elevated from the Houston terminus up until it passes 290 at the Grand Parkway. Technically, it's all "elevated") or they could share the HSR tracks but would have to buy the Shinkansen trains. This meant that a station for Downtown, 290/Beltway, and Grand Parkway would be the ultimate buildout of this line.

It seems that initially, they will go ahead and build just three stations on the first phase of the line. So in that respect, with the information we have now, you are right. When I posted that response a couple of weeks ago, the only information we had suggested otherwise.

As for your second question, that is up to METRO.

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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

 

Indeed, as the initial screening indicates 100% of the urban lengths in both Houston and Dallas are assumed to be on viaduct. Other rural sections will be on embankments with culverts at appropriate locations for crossings where permissible as cost savings versus viaduct, but will still be elevated.

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Well I really appreciate all the helpful information, especially without any arrogance to my ignorance of being in the know on this stuff or knowing how to obtain information. I studied computer science, but I kinda really wish I had gone into urban planning or civil engineering or architecture instead because it all fascinates me to no end. The elevated viaducts definitely wipes away my chief concern of continued car traffic mobility, and residents could live with that being built out. I also like that there's at least a plan in place for commuter rail with METRO after beltway 8 since the hempstead ROW ends there and HSR will have to start using some of the UPRR ROW at that point until it curves northward at Hockley. I'm sure METRO would take forever to do so if it doesn't somehow get piggy backed onto this project, but as long as there is right of way to make it happen in the future then cool. I guess the biggest loss then is the fact that the hempstead ROW will probably not be able to be used in order to build an elevated tollway. I was really looking forward to laughing at all the people stuck on 290 on a newly elevated hempstead tollway, granted I'd probably be pushing 40-50 at that point.

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Since the existing railroads are still owned by UP and the like, I don't see why they can't stay (mostly) intact. So, let's say that the HSR is elevated as it crosses over 290 then re-aligns to it.

 

Becker Road - Not a problem. Should go right over it (the railroad). Same for a potential for Bauer Road extension, or Mason Road.

Bauer Road - Potential eventual expansion, should go right over it. Same

Grand Parkway - Significant problem in that the main lanes appear that they would block it, so it would need to go ground level. That would kill hope for any chances for frontage roads, but it looks like they weren't supposed to cross the railroads anyway....unless the frontage roads were sunken (not unlike at what happened at Beltway 8 and I-10 originally). However, if HSR remained at ground level, it would pose a problem for expansion of Bauer Road unless it was also sunken. However, from what TxDOT plans have, it looks like they did allow for the possibility of a "High Capacity Transit Corridor".

House-Hahl Road - This road has been mostly redeveloped so that this segment just connects to Mound Road, frankly I'm surprised that the crossing still exists so close to Fry Road.

Fry Road - This and any potential Skinner Road extensions should be okay too, so the next big problem is...

Barker Cypress Road - Due to the way that there is space under the road, it should be able to go under Barker Cypress, but not over it.

Northwest Lake Business Park - The freight railroad will have to be on the south side, it should rise back up to elevated, or should be sunken. Anything else will force abandonment. 

State Highway 6 - This is where I think sinking is necessary due to the fact that there's a railroad overpass AND at-grade crossings. The reason why the at-grade crossings exist in the first place was to provide full access. 

 

All the rest of the roads and spurs would benefit with just a continuous viaduct. This wouldn't run into problems again until Beltway 8, where running it sunken would mess up Senate, elevated would mess up the new frontage road bridges, so surface would be the solution, which would cause Brittmoore and Perimeter Park to be closed, neither of which cause access to be screwed up all that.

 

Elevated should take care of the rest until around Northwest Mall, because there are still some active-looking spurs, then Post Oak Road, then 610 (which cannot be elevated due to conflict with the overpasses there). So then, that's the first sign of trouble:

 

- The track could curve 610 going south (free ROW) then east along Old Katy Road, but that seems like a lot of curves for little payoff.

- The track could begin sinking after Long Point Road, then just rebuild bridges for the spurs and Post Oak Road.

- The track could end at Northwest Mall.

 

As for inner loop, part of my idea hinged on closing off the near-useless Allen Street as it provides few connections, with the extra ROW being used for not only the HSR but also sound barriers.

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tl;dr - Routing along 290 (and everywhere else) can occur without much (if any) pain to existing uses.  It's part of the plan.

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And as part of that study, by year-end the Texas Central Partners expects it will name the geographic region for its Houston depot. It's already narrowed the options down to northwest Houston, near the intersection of Loop 610 and U.S. Route 290, or in Houston's central business district downtown

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/houston/morning_call/2015/10/high-speed-rail-company-moves-forward-with.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+bizj_houston+%28Houston+Business+Journal%29

 

 

I guess we'll know by the end of the year what they decide to do.  I hope if they do announce it at 610 & 290, Metro also announces an inner Katy line to it at the same time.  I can dream right?

 

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http://www.bizjournals.com/houston/morning_call/2015/10/high-speed-rail-company-moves-forward-with.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+bizj_houston+%28Houston+Business+Journal%29

 

 

I guess we'll know by the end of the year what they decide to do.  I hope if they do announce it at 610 & 290, Metro also announces an inner Katy line to it at the same time.  I can dream right?

 

Looks like downtown is off the table:

 

The Federal Railroad Administration has eliminated from consideration both of the paths that would have carried the trains to Houston's central business district. The agency is overseeing environmental approvals for the multi-billion-dollar line proposed by Texas Central Partners.

 
The decision essentially gives Texas Central "our target landing zone," CEO Tim Keith said, although the company still must procure numerous federal approvals, hold public meetings, raise money and acquire land before construction could begin.

 

 

 

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/transportation/article/Planned-high-speed-rail-line-won-t-come-downtown-6627877.php?t=f1bfb19d02&cmpid=twitter-premium

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Connecting a 290/I-10/610 area station to downtown is as simple as actually building the inner katy metrorail line we voted on in 2003 and has been ignored ever since.


Of course they've probably allowed the Heights and Wshington corridor to become a hotbed of NIMBYism in the meantime.

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Too bad it ended up being 290, definitely not as central or desirable a location as downtown, but you get what you pay for I guess.  Ideally, you'd want one central station preferably around Burnett Plaza area with light rail, bus, Amtrak and intercity bus connections, with plenty of space for parking garages and rental car/taxi areas.  Coordinating all of that would delay the project like 10 years so I can see why they didn't even try that. 

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Too bad it ended up being 290, definitely not as central or desirable a location as downtown, but you get what you pay for I guess.  Ideally, you'd want one central station preferably around Burnett Plaza area with light rail, bus, Amtrak and intercity bus connections, with plenty of space for parking garages and rental car/taxi areas.  Coordinating all of that would delay the project like 10 years so I can see why they didn't even try that. 

 

Northwest Mall is a better intermodal site than Burnett Station in every way except linear distance to downtown.

 

NW Mall is more convenient to the energy corridor, more convenient to uptown, more convenient to Greenway Plaza, and arguably just as convenient to the northern suburbs considering you can just jump on the North Loop from NW Mall whereas getting on the North Freeway from Burnett, Im not sure how easy that is.

 

There is an already existing bus and transit center in the area that could be relocated to the site

 

It has better freeway access to make connections to 290, I10, and 610 to get to far more destinations whereas Burnett is not directly adjacent to a freeway at all and the ones it is closest to are in very complicated alignments near downtown, with no feeder roads, and adjacent to waterways.

 

NW mall would sit on TWO light rail routes (Inner Katy and Uptown would likely be routed to terminate here if/when built) instead of only being on the red line.

 

The site is also directly adjacent to freight rail tracks which connect to the lines that Amtrak already uses at a distance of only about 1 mile from the route Amrtrak already uses.

 

The site is also bigger, meaning that more land is available for parking, garages, car rental centers, all those things that would be expected to move into the area plus larger available land for development than the Hardy Yards site, plus much larger adjacent industrial areas which would likely be redeveloped wheras Hardy Yards is penned in by the bayous/I10 to the southwest and residential neighborhood to the north. 

 

In addition to all this....there is actually a company that wants to locate its high speed rail terminal at NW Mall already.

Edited by JJxvi
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Personally I also believe that the revitalization of Oak Forest/Timergrove/Garden Oaks/Lazybrook etc combined with a major intermodal station near NW Mall might make the Brookhollow area prime for large scale office redevelopment and connection of a new major job center to the transit system.

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Personally I also believe that the revitalization of Oak Forest/Timergrove/Garden Oaks/Lazybrook etc combined with a major intermodal station near NW Mall might make the Brookhollow area prime for large scale office redevelopment and connection of a new major job center to the transit system.

 

The biggest challenge in redeveloping the area is going to be moving all the state and municipal services out. If I were TCR, I'd be looking at buying up properties to the south and west of the site for redevelopment.

 

The HISD administration building is a huge barrier to any sort of dense redevelopment to the north and east, along with the parole office that's in Brookhollow.

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Personally I also believe that the revitalization of Oak Forest/Timergrove/Garden Oaks/Lazybrook etc combined with a major intermodal station near NW Mall might make the Brookhollow area prime for large scale office redevelopment and connection of a new major job center to the transit system.

I work in Brookhollow and would hate to see all the tall, mature, beautiful trees be gone in the name of progress.

 

Keep it west of 290. ;)

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Northwest Mall is a better intermodal site than Burnett Station in every way except linear distance to downtown.

 

NW Mall is more convenient to the energy corridor, more convenient to uptown, more convenient to Greenway Plaza, and arguably just as convenient to the northern suburbs considering you can just jump on the North Loop from NW Mall whereas getting on the North Freeway from Burnett, Im not sure how easy that is.

 

I have to disagree here.  NW mall is more convenient to Energy Corridor and Uptown, but not to Greenway Plaza and I'd much rather take 59 to Hardy from downtown to northern suburbs than schlep along 610 loop to get to 45/Hardy. 

 

 

 

There is an already existing bus and transit center in the area that could be relocated to the site

 

It has better freeway access to make connections to 290, I10, and 610 to get to far more destinations whereas Burnett is not directly adjacent to a freeway at all and the ones it is closest to are in very complicated alignments near downtown, with no feeder roads, and adjacent to waterways.

 

And there is a brand new bus and transit center at Burnett that doesn't need any relocation.  Oh and it's also directly on a central light rail line with access to downtown, midtown, museum district, Rice, TMC, NRG park, UH and TSU.  And Burnett is adjacent to I10, 45 and 59, not sure what you're talking about.  

 

 

 

NW mall would sit on TWO light rail routes (Inner Katy and Uptown would likely be routed to terminate here if/when built) instead of only being on the red line.

The site is also directly adjacent to freight rail tracks which connect to the lines that Amtrak already uses at a distance of only about 1 mile from the route Amrtrak already uses.

 

You really think light rail will get built in this town anytime soon?  As long as METRO is paying 25% of it's funds towards building suburban roads, building rail will be tough.  Oh and the Uptown line is now BRT, not light rail, which will have lower ridership.  

 

Amtrak trains could easily route to the Burnett location, it is right on top of a UP mainline.  C'mon man, have you even looked at a satellite view of Burnett? 

 

 

 

The site is also bigger, meaning that more land is available for parking, garages, car rental centers, all those things that would be expected to move into the area plus larger available land for development than the Hardy Yards site, plus much larger adjacent industrial areas which would likely be redeveloped wheras Hardy Yards is penned in by the bayous/I10 to the southwest and residential neighborhood to the north.

In addition to all this....there is actually a company that wants to locate its high speed rail terminal at NW Mall already.

 

Doesn't look bigger to me, I don't know how much land they've bought.  Maybe if they tear down the mall entirely. Burnett areas has plenty of room for all that stuff. Hardy has plenty of industrial areas around it, have you even been there? 

 

Yes, TCR wants NW mall location because it's significantly cheaper, this has been already established.  They want short term profits, I am thinking long term. 

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I think getting downtown long-term is possible, but first you've got to establish enough existing demand for the service to outweigh the significant financial and political costs of building those last five miles. From what I've seen, the NIMBYs have plenty of time and cash on their hands.

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Burnett is not adjacent to any highway. It is NEAR the ones you mention, but in most cases they are a couple blocks away, or "across the bayou" and in all cases do not have adequate access from the site of Burnett and no extra infrastructure like feeder roads to speak of.

 

Yes I have obviously looked at the aerials of the site.  NW Mall is a bigger site, it is currently 52 acres or so I think and used to be 65 or something before a lot of it became highway...because, well, the highway is running right there through the property now. Hardy Yards is/was 45 acres I think? Comparable, but smaller, and with far less developable land in the area.  The entire site will not be used at either location, IMO, but there is more room and flexibility to handle all modes (important for an intermodal).  As I mentioned, NW Mall is also on the Union Pacific line, so Burnett station has no advantage there either.

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I'm pretty sure a company investing over 12 billion in a radical new form of transportation is definitely thinking long term. No one spends that kind of money for "short term profits" and to think that this isn't a step towards their "long term goal" is a little naîve.

That's an insane amount of money; $12,000,000,000. Look at all those zero's!!

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Burnett is not adjacent to any highway. It is NEAR the ones you mention, but in most cases they are a couple blocks away, or "across the bayou" and in all cases do not have adequate access from the site of Burnett and no extra infrastructure like feeder roads to speak of.

Yes I have obviously looked at the aerials of the site. NW Mall is a bigger site, it is currently 52 acres or so I think and used to be 65 or something before a lot of it became highway...because, well, the highway is running right there through the property now. Hardy Yards is/was 45 acres I think? Comparable, but smaller, and with far less developable land in the area. The entire site will not be used at either location, IMO, but there is more room and flexibility to handle all modes (important for an intermodal). As I mentioned, NW Mall is also on the Union Pacific line, so Burnett station has no advantage there either.

Burnett is near 45, 59, 288, 10, and the future hardy extension. NW mall is not an easy place to get on any freeway from.

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I'm pretty sure a company investing over 12 billion in a radical new form of transportation is definitely thinking long term. No one spends that kind of money for "short term profits" and to think that this isn't a step towards their "long term goal" is a little naîve.

That's an insane amount of money; $12,000,000,000. Look at all those zero's!!

I think it's understood when he said "short term profits", he was clearly talking about them wanting to recoup their investment quicker, and stopping the train short of downtown helps them accomplish this tremendously.

In layman's terms, they cheaped out.

This has nothing to do with them thinking the NW Mall site is far superior to downtown, and everything to do with it making much more "financial sense" to place the terminus there.

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I think it's understood when he said "short term profits", he was clearly talking about them wanting to recoup their investment quicker, and stopping the train short of downtown helps them accomplish this tremendously.

In layman's terms, they cheaped out.

This has nothing to do with them thinking the NW Mall site is far superior to downtown, and everything to do with it making much more "financial sense" to place the terminus there.

 

Think it also has to do with procurement of funds and liquidity. They know it'll be easier to get funds freed up for actual construction than for legal defense. They likely have a strict budget for litigation, and Rice Military would exceed that number alone.

 

I'm sure the original hope was that people would be wowed by the concept and NIMBY attitudes would be minimized, but, well, that's not how those folks work.

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I think it's understood when he said "short term profits", he was clearly talking about them wanting to recoup their investment quicker, and stopping the train short of downtown helps them accomplish this tremendously.

In layman's terms, they cheaped out.

This has nothing to do with them thinking the NW Mall site is far superior to downtown, and everything to do with it making much more "financial sense" to place the terminus there.

Yes, I understand that's what he was saying. I wasn't confused to what was stated because my post you quoted could just be repeated again here; of course it's financial, no one is arguing that, because it specifically says it was for financial reasons. The issue here is accusing them of "cheating out" on a brand new form of transportation that is unproven, not only in the state but anywhere in the U.S. Outside of the Northeast.

When you're introducing a radical new form of transportation to a state that is car driven, it's important to utilize the most "bang for your buck" so to speak. I brought up the $12 billion price tag because holy crap that is still an insane amount of money! There's not a company on this earth that is going to spend $12 billion on anything for "short term" profits. That's dumb.

Edited by BigFootsSocks

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NW mall is not an easy place to get on any freeway from.

 

The mall located at the intersection of two freeways is not an easy place to get to from ANY freeway?

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The mall located at the intersection of two freeways is not an easy place to get to from ANY freeway?

No. The northwest transit center and the surrounding area is extremely confusing.

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No. The northwest transit center and the surrounding area is extremely confusing.

No, its not. I've never had any problems finding my destination in that area. It's easy to get on 610 North or West, 290, Or 10.

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Yes, I understand that's what he was saying.

Apparently not. :lol:

There's not a company on this earth that is going to spend $12 billion on anything for "short term" profits. That's dumb.

Again, you're misrepresenting what he meant by "short term profits."

Reread this:

I think it's understood when he said "short term profits", he was clearly talking about them wanting to recoup their investment quicker, and stopping the train short of downtown helps them accomplish this tremendously.

^ Are you suggesting that any of the above statement isn't true?

Or are you suggesting that Mfastx is so "dumb" and "naive", as you've called him, that he thinks some group of guys just tossed together $12 Billion dollars so they could make a couple of bucks for a few months and then just walk away from the whole deal?

Because that's what it sounds like you're implying.

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Jesus Christ, here we go again.

His words were "They want short term profits, I'm thinking long term"

I'd make an attempt to defend how I "misrepresented" that, but since you didn't offer up any explanation as to how I did it without stating what is so clearly obvious or has been explicitly stated in the TCR/FRA study, then all I can say is that my reasoning behind what I said is thus; no company that has a budget of $12 billion is ONLY thinking long term.

Do you see how that's bolded? That's all I was referring to; that a company that is bringing a radical product to the state with a budget that belongs in the triple comma club is NOT thinking short term.

No, that's not what I'm saying but oh how ironic is that conclusion you jumped to. I wasn't calling him dumb, I was calling the idea of a company spending that much money on short term gains dumb. I also said "a little naive", as in, "yeah it's a decent point but that's leaving out so many other dependent factors"

I would explain how you misrepresented what I said, but I think that's too much snark for this ouroboros train tonight bud.

Edited by BigFootsSocks

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The northwest transit center is currently roughly a mile away from northwest mall.

 

Northwest Mall used to be difficult to get to from certain directions, and I don't see how the current 290 construction will solve having to use Mangum to get there when using 290, but access to/from the loop and therefore 10 will be much improved as it will now be possible to get on the loop or I-10 from the feeder rd at Hempstead Rd.  18th street will basically continue to provide the same amount of access to the loop as it did before.

 

From a transit center perspective regarding connection to the freeways, the big deal that I was really talking about is that the HOV/HOT lanes connecting to the new 290 lanes and which connect up to the Katy Tollway lanes to the south are right there next to the feeder roads adjacent to the site. I don't imagine there would be any difficulty connecting the site to the transit network.

Edited by JJxvi

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No, its not. I've never had any problems finding my destination in that area. It's easy to get on 610 North or West, 290, Or 10.

Definitely not particularly with the construction and hot lanes.

I find this comment from you interesting, being that you think driving on or through streets with the light rail is so tough. Hypocrite.

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Definitely not particularly with the construction and hot lanes.

 

Probably better for everyone concerned if confused drivers just stay off the streets.  Just take the bus there and leave the driving to a professional.

 

GrannyBus200.jpg

 

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Definitely not particularly with the construction and hot lanes.

I find this comment from you interesting, being that you think driving on or through streets with the light rail is so tough. Hypocrite.

 

Nice piece of name calling, slick.

 

I think I said something to the effect that light rail makes it tough to cross through streets because the rail blocks cars from crossing the through streets, thus requiring a detour to the next available intersection that allows passage. On the North part of the Red Line, that's quite a few blocks out of the way, depending on where you are.

 

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Burnett is not adjacent to any highway. It is NEAR the ones you mention, but in most cases they are a couple blocks away, or "across the bayou" and in all cases do not have adequate access from the site of Burnett and no extra infrastructure like feeder roads to speak of.

 

Yes I have obviously looked at the aerials of the site.  NW Mall is a bigger site, it is currently 52 acres or so I think and used to be 65 or something before a lot of it became highway...because, well, the highway is running right there through the property now. Hardy Yards is/was 45 acres I think? Comparable, but smaller, and with far less developable land in the area.  The entire site will not be used at either location, IMO, but there is more room and flexibility to handle all modes (important for an intermodal).  As I mentioned, NW Mall is also on the Union Pacific line, so Burnett station has no advantage there either.

 

The difference between Burnett and NW mall from a highway access standpoint is negligible.  Neither sit right on a feeder road with direct access and are near freeway interchanges which usually aren't the best for actually accessing a freeway, but the nearby freeways are generally easily accessible.

 

And I don't think the differences in size really matter, there is plenty of room for everything you mentioned at the Burnett site.

 

I personally spoke with Robert Eckels about this, and it was purely a financial decision.  The argument he made wasn't that it was a better site, he acknowledged that ideally you'd like to get all the way downtown, but the NW mall site is just more realistic from a financial and NIMBY standpoint.  I bet they saved at least a billion dollars by not having to grade separate the HSR to get all the way downtown.  

 

And Huge is right, they want to recover their investment.  They are not building this line as a public service, they are doing it to make money, as an investment.  Going all the way downtown significantly increases the required return for it to be profitable within a reasonable amount of time. 

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I'm curious how people are under the impression that it wasn't a financial decision.

Loads of people in this thread applauding the NW mall site selection over downtown as though it was a logistical decision on the investors part, and going out of their way to prove to everyone that the investors made the smarter decision.

Logistically.

They're arguing about it in all 8 of the Dallas to Houston high speed rail threads we have on the front page!

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The difference between Burnett and NW mall from a highway access standpoint is negligible.  Neither sit right on a feeder road with direct access and are near freeway interchanges which usually aren't the best for actually accessing a freeway, but the nearby freeways are generally easily accessible.

 

And I don't think the differences in size really matter, there is plenty of room for everything you mentioned at the Burnett site.

 

I personally spoke with Robert Eckels about this, and it was purely a financial decision.  The argument he made wasn't that it was a better site, he acknowledged that ideally you'd like to get all the way downtown, but the NW mall site is just more realistic from a financial and NIMBY standpoint.  I bet they saved at least a billion dollars by not having to grade separate the HSR to get all the way downtown.  

 

And Huge is right, they want to recover their investment.  They are not building this line as a public service, they are doing it to make money, as an investment.  Going all the way downtown significantly increases the required return for it to be profitable within a reasonable amount of time. 

 

Regarding "decisions" there are no decisions regarding real intermodal facilities (a METRO facility) which is what I have been discussing in response to another post. Metro will almost certainly need to plan to have at least some sort of intermodal site for LRT to HSR similar to what they would have to have at Wheeler station for commuter rail and light rail also.  Right now Metro has no plans to build an intermodal (other than bus to rail or car to bus) station anywhere that I can tell and they dont have real plans even to build commuter rail to Burnett Station.

 

My point was merely that since a private company is going to have a terminal at NW Mall, and since this location could likely also serve the same western commuter routes (and indeed Metro indicated stops at the NW transit center on their early maps before continuing to Burnett), and also would be on top of a the junction of two light rail lines, in addition to the highway access, and the site size, etc that going forward this would be a decent site for Houston's major intermodal facility and arguably better than the Hardy Yards site.

 

If TCR had found it feasible (and actually maybe they would have if Metro had actually built a large intermodal facility at Burnett) to locate their terminal at Hardy Yards, my analysis would be that obviously Hardy Yards is better since thats where HSR is located.

Edited by JJxvi

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Loads of people in this thread applauding the NW mall site selection over downtown as though it was a logistical decision on the investors part, and going out of their way to prove to everyone that the investors made the smarter decision.

Logistically.

They're arguing about it in all 8 of the Dallas to Houston high speed rail threads we have on the front page!

Yeah that's just dumb. :lol:

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Regarding "decisions" there are no decisions regarding real intermodal facilities (a METRO facility) which is what I have been discussing in response to another post. Metro will almost certainly need to plan to have at least some sort of intermodal site for LRT to HSR similar to what they would have to have at Wheeler station for commuter rail and light rail also.  Right now Metro has no plans to build an intermodal (other than bus to rail or car to bus) station anywhere that I can tell and they dont have real plans even to build commuter rail to Burnett Station.

I agree it's a failure of the region to not get everyone on the same page here, METRO has been strangely aloof lately regarding their light rail plans or big picture stuff.

 

My point was merely that since a private company is going to have a terminal at NW Mall, and since this location could likely also serve the same western commuter routes (and indeed Metro indicated stops at the NW transit center on their early maps before continuing to Burnett), and also would be on top of a the junction of two light rail lines, in addition to the highway access, and the site size, etc that going forward this would be a decent site for Houston's major intermodal facility and arguably better than the Hardy Yards site.

If everything you say is going to happen happens, then sure it won't be an awful site. It's just that the likelyhood of all of that happening anytime soon is extremely low, and again, it's obvious that as things stand now the NW mall site is significantly less attractive than a downtown site, and this decision was made purely on the financial side. Downtown already has all of those things you're hoping will eventually come to NW Mall.

 

If TCR had found it feasible (and actually maybe they would have if Metro had actually built a large intermodal facility at Burnett) to locate their terminal at Hardy Yards, my analysis would be that obviously Hardy Yards is better since thats where HSR is located.

Again it's purely a cost thing, they'd likely have to grade separate it the majority of the way through to downtown from NW Mall, as the UP ROW is very slim. Grade separating HSR through an urban area is likely approaching a billion dollars per mile, as well as purchasing necessary real estate downtown. As things stand now, both Hardy Yard and NW mall don't have anything on the specific site, but Hardy Yard is directly on an existing light rail line and is much closer to a major employment center, as well as the majority of other destinations in Houston.

 

Oh and BTW, it doesn't matter if NW mall is torn down or not, there's still nothing there and it's not really close to anything except Uptown, and hell, it isn't even much closer to Uptown than Burnett.  NW Mall is 4 miles from the Galleria and Burnett is 6.  Oh and to get there from NW mall you have to take 610 south, what a glorious drive that always is on a weekday. 

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so bottom line is that the NW site is just a epic failure. If metro doesnt get a light rail to and from the site to downtown it will be failure.

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For once I just wish you could take me into the future to see these declarations of truth that you drop on these threads. I'd believe that it's a failure if I could just see it fail.

Let me know the next time you travel into the future so I can come with you.

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I'm just wondering what Dallas was able to do to hurdle this that Houston couldn't (or not doing?)

A stop like this that is so peripheral from the center focus of the city just seems like a move like Lubbock or Amarillo would take. Not a big metropolis like Houston.

Very frustrating to say the least. Not saying that this is Houston's fault. But I have to assume that if Dallas was able to jump this hurdle, there's something our city is not doing.

I'm just wondering what Dallas was able to do to hurdle this that Houston couldn't or not doing?

A stop like this that is so peripheral from the center focus of the city just seems like a move like Lubbock or Amarillo would take. Not a big metropolis like Houston.

Very frustrating to say the least. Not saying that this is Houston's fault. But I have to assume that if Dallas was able to jump this hurdle, there's something our city is not doing.

Edited by C2H

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There's very little in terms of residential neighborhoods along the route to the proposed Dallas location, which minimizes opposition and cost. From the maps and aerials, it looks like they have a pretty straight approach with few obstacles. Getting to Downtown Houston is much more difficult, with very little available space to build dedicated structures to hold the HSR tracks. And that's ignoring the impact on people who live next to the line. I am also skeptical that UP and BNSF would be amenable to allowing their RoW to be used, given the potential disruption to freight movement during construction.

 

 

There are many factors, but the more glaring one is the political pull that some landowners have along the route from the Houston station to Downtown.

So, it's your opinion that the people affected by a potential route to Downtown ought to just suck it up and give in, a sort of "best for the masses, so I'll screw up my life" approach?

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So, it's your opinion that the people affected by a potential route to Downtown ought to just suck it up and give in, a sort of "best for the masses, so I'll screw up my life" approach?

Ummm...what?! How do you even get any of that from what I said? That's insane. All I said was that The Heights has a lot of political pull and the resources necessary to make a line into downtown difficult.

No where did I say they people affected need to suck it up and quit complaining. That's hilarious that you thought that though. A tad bit defensive for a simple observation that meant no harm to the Heights residents.

I mean, I basically said the same thing you did responding to the other user.

Edited by BigFootsSocks

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There's very little in terms of residential neighborhoods along the route to the proposed Dallas location, which minimizes opposition and cost. From the maps and aerials, it looks like they have a pretty straight approach with few obstacles. Getting to Downtown Houston is much more difficult, with very little available space to build dedicated structures to hold the HSR tracks. And that's ignoring the impact on people who live next to the line. I am also skeptical that UP and BNSF would be amenable to allowing their RoW to be used, given the potential disruption to freight movement during construction.

So, it's your opinion that the people affected by a potential route to Downtown ought to just suck it up and give in, a sort of "best for the masses, so I'll screw up my life" approach?

Yup absolutely

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