tod news

Vision for Dallas-to-Fort Worth bullet train to be unveiled
Brandon Formby | Dallas News


The Tower Bridge links Sacramento with West Sacramento. imging /

State transportation officials this week are unveiling early plans for a high-speed train line from Dallas to Fort Worth. Like Dallas Area Rapid Transit’s plans to expand transit service in downtown, the project is an attempt to take advantage of plans for a high-speed rail line from Dallas to Houston.


The Texas Department of Transportation for years has looked at possible high-speed rail lines across the state. None of those lines, including the Dallas-to-Fort Worth one, have funding. But officials have studied the possibilities and potential routes, which ideally would connect the state’s biggest cities and could eventually run from South Texas to Oklahoma City.


“These projects are part of a larger statewide network,” said Erik Steavens, TxDOT’s rail director. “You obviously want to see the network built out in a manner where it can be built out logically.”


The state agency is conducting three meetings across North Texas this week to present where the current plans stand and to gather public comments. TxDOT is looking at running the Dallas-Fort Worth line alongside either the TRE commuter line that already connects the two cities or Interstate 30.


“We’re carrying forward two options to start the conversation, but there may be more options that come out of the process,” Steavens said last week at a North Central Texas Council of Governments committee meeting.


The route and funding aren’t all the state has to figure out. There’s also the question of what type of train will run on the track. The state could have its own trains, or it could pay the Texas Central Railway to run its trains on TxDOT tracks so passengers from Houston could have a one-seat trip to Fort Worth.


Another key decision is picking and securing a station on the Dallas end of the line. The state wants to tie the line into a private developer’s planned line to Houston.


“It should be something where we have those tied together,” Steavens said.


Dallas station site

But Texas Central has yet to identify where its Dallas station will be.


That entity is looking at three different spots, one in downtown Dallas and two farther south along Interstate 45. But Dallas officials and the company both prefer a downtown Dallas terminus.


“As a general matter of practice, we’re focused on a downtown Dallas station,” said Travis Kelly, Texas Central’s vice president of government relations.


That company hasn’t identified a specific piece of land, though. Kelly says it’s looking at five different parcels. Being able to accommodate a state-developed line running west to Fort Worth will be a factor in its choice, Kelly said. The company is also considering creating a transit-oriented development near its station, he said.


Focus on route

For now, TxDOT is focused on the route itself. It’s also considering an Arlington station along the line.


But specific station locations aren’t yet on the agency’s front burner. Not that officials won’t take ideas at this week’s meeting. Once specific location possibilities are identified, they’ll take the plans back out to the public.


“We’ll have a separate round of public meetings related to stations,” Steavens said.