The study will examine best possible options for the development of passenger trains that will connect metropolitan areas such as Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin and San Antonio and compare different types of services, such as existing Amtrak routes to a new high-speed rail system. The study will also explore funding options such as the potential for public-private partnerships.
"To truly address congestion, we must look at more than just building and expanding highways," said John Barton TxDOT deputy executive director and chief engineer. "Passenger rail is a strategic component for the future of Texas transportation."
The $14-million study is partially funded through a $5.6 million grant from the Federal Railroad Administration's High Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail program. TxDOT is providing a 20 percent match.
Components of the study will include a prioritized business and financial plan to implement services identified through public involvement and general environmental studies. If built, the Oklahoma City to South Texas line could provide the foundation for a high-speed or higher-performance rail system that would eventually connect all the major metropolitan areas in Texas.