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China High Speed Train

A Chinese bullet train on its way to the Pearl River delta. Photo courtesy of DallasMorningNews.com

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) announced that it is considering the development of a high-speed rail line. The rail line would be the second such project proposed recently, the other being the frequently discussed Dallas to Houston high-speed rail under development by Texas Central Partners, a private firm. The TxDOT train would travel over an 850 mile route, connecting Oklahoma City and the Rio Grande Valley. Though the exact placement of each station has yet to be fully determined, TxDOT has already released a preliminary map with several proposed points. The project would run along Interstate 35, and would assist TxDOT’s ongoing objective to reduce traffic.

“I travel back between Austin and San Antonio a lot, and sometimes it takes three hours and sometimes it takes five hours depending on the traffic,” said Mark Werner, the rail planning director at TxDOT. “It’s just reliability and to provide people another option to travel.”

So far, TxDOT has yet to propose solutions to address the cost and timeline components of such an undertaking. TxDOT is still investigating the feasibility of the project, and is expected to present its findings to the Federal Railroad Administration by the end of the year. If this project receives the green light, it is likely the state would use its powers of eminent domain to acquire private property along the route.