The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has kicked off a two-year study to explore the possibility of passenger rail service from Oklahoma City to South Texas.
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.