The high-speed Texas bullet train between Houston and Dallas is taking shape. Courtesy JR Central.
Texas Central Group has taken the next step towards making its ambitious North Texas-to-Houston bullet train a reality. The developer revealed on Monday that it has selected two design construction firms to lead the high-speed train project. Under their agreement, Fluor Enterprises, Inc. and The Lane Construction Corporation would be the preferred designer-builder of the railway after the development phase and financial close.
The proposed multi-billion-dollar rail will span 240 miles between Houston and Dallas, carrying passengers between the two urban hubs in less than 90 minutes, zooming along at speeds as high as 205 MPH.
Representatives of the investor-led $12 billion project say they wanted partnership with firms familiar with Texas, ones that would create jobs and opportunities in the region.
“We are excited to partner with firms that have deep Texas roots. This is the latest in a long list of Texas-based companies helping build the train,” Texas Central CEO Carlos Aguilar says in a statement.
Irving-based Fluor Enterprises ranks number 149 on the Fortune 500 list and has expertise designing and constructing high-speed train infrastructure.
Lane Construction Corporation is a nationwide leader in heavy civil construction including rail, metro and mass transit. Lane has worked in Texas since the early 1980s. Its Italian parent company, Salini Impregilo, has been involved with several high-speed rail projects in Europe and the Middle East.
“This will be America’s first true high-speed train, and we’re eager to be part of the next generation of sustainable infrastructure,” Robert E. Alger, president and CEO of The Lane Construction Corporation, says.
Even with the partnerships, this high-speed train still has a long journey ahead before construction can begin.
The project cleared a major political hurdle earlier this summer, but it is still waiting on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement before it can make a timeline for construction and completion. Texas Central estimates that construction on the Texas train could begin in late 2018 (at the earliest).
Still, the agreement with Fluor and Lane shows some serious progress for the high-speed rail.
“This is a major milestone for a project that links two of the nation’s largest commercial hubs and gives Texans a safe and reliable alternative over congested highway and air travel,” Aguilar says.