Culture / Travel

Texas Bullet Train Developers Unveil Futuristic Train Station Plans

New Transportation Hubs Would Be High-Tech — and Community Changing

BY // 02.06.18

Developers of the Texas Bullet Train have revealed plans for its preferred passenger stations in Dallas and Houston. Texas Central — the group behind the ambitious, $12 billion-plus project — is thinking equally big with its proposed station locations.

In Dallas, it’s targeting the up-and-coming Cedars neighborhood, south of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. In Houston, it wants to take over the downtrodden Northwest Mall and revitalize it as a transportation hub.

Conceptual renderings for the proposed new Dallas station show a modern, multi-level structure between South Riverfront Boulevard and Austin Street. The concourse will include public areas, restaurants, bars, newsstands, rental car companies, and more. The proposed site is a largely vacant 60-acre plot of land near the Interstate 30 and Interstate 35 interchange.

The station will be linked to nearby roads, DART light-rail systems, buses and other public transit. Texas Central anticipates that the station will accelerate economic growth in the area and encourage transit-oriented development downtown. CEO Carlos Aguilar even suggests that the rail could also be a big selling point for Amazon’s HQ2, as it will put highly ranked research facilities a short train ride away from North Texas.

“This creates a super economy. It’s an amazing way to accelerate transit-oriented development that sets Texas apart from any other state, and provides businesses with unparalleled access to workers, suppliers and other critical needs,” Aguilar says in a statement.

In Houston, the railway wants to repurpose the Northwest Mall site near the interchange of I-610 and US 290. Texas Central previously had three proposed sites for the Houston station and found that the mall site had the least environmental and community effects. As with the Dallas station, Texas Central has chosen to place the Houston station in a high-growth area of the city, with easy access to The Galleria, the Energy Corridor and downtown.

“Houston continues to grow. Growing the smart way includes providing a wider choice of transportation options beyond more private vehicles and more roads. The Texas Bullet Train fits the transportation paradigm shift I have called for,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner says in a statement.

The passenger terminal will be built on a 45-acre plot of land and will include public areas, bars, restaurants, newsstands, and connections to local public transit.

Construction on the high-speed rail line is expected to begin as early as 2019, with an expected finish date in 2023. Some projections forecast that the massive project will create 10,000 jobs during each year of construction and about 1,500 full-time jobs once the bullet train is operational.

Texas Central revealed the proposed route for the 240-mile, high-speed rail line in December. The train will zip between Dallas and Houston in less than 90 minutes at speeds as high as 205 MPH, with a midway stop in the Brazos Valley.


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