After three years of predevelopment, Texas Central Partners announced Monday it has named Fluor Enterprises and Lane Construction to design-build a 240-mile high speed rail lane that will run between Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas.
The $12 billion project will be privately funded, according to developer Texas Central, who also promised not to ask for public money. Texas Central said Fluor and Lane have no equity or ownership stake in the project and will not be involved in land acquisition.
Named the Texas Bullet Train, expectations are the rail line would operate at 205 m.p.h., taking 90 minutes to cover the Houston - Dallas stretch, with a midway stop in the Brazos Valley.
Tim Keith, president of Texas Central, said in an interview with the Dallas Business Journal Monday he expectes construction to start in late 2018 or early 2019. Keith said the civil construction is expected to cost $10 billion to $12 billion, safety and other core systems will cost roughly $2 billion, and soft costs will take the total project cost over $15 billion.
Thus far, private investors have committed $125 million for the project, $40 million of which is from Japanese investors.
To its credit, Texas Central Partners has worked to purchase real estate from landowners along the train's route rather than go through the eminent domain process.
On the Texas Central website, the developer says during each year of the build, 10,000 construction jobs will be filled. Another 1,000 high-tech jobs will be created by the project. Texas Central also estimates the initial direct investment from the project's construction will add $10 billion to the area and generate $36 billion in economic benefits over the next 25 years. Texas Central isteslf will pay nearly $2.5 billion in taxes between now and 2040.
The Texas Bullet will use the same technology as the Shinkansen Bullet Train used in Japan.
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