Houston-to-Dallas bullet train given green light from feds

I was planning to criticize the author’s projection of millions of new jobs.

But I decided to read the article first. He didn’t actually say that. He said:

“Texas Central plans to spend $20 billion in privately-raised money to build a new track from Houston to Dallas. Construction will employ thousands of people for years, and daily operations will employ hundreds more.”

Headline writers (or editors) are terribly sloppy at times. It’s actually a pretty good opinion piece.

Re alcohol, I used to take a five-hour Amtrak back to Chicago from college occasionally, and my friends and I always brought a 12-pack or two for the trip. Nobody said a word. So I guess it was okay.

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While I’m enticed by the plan, the devil is in the
details. I would be willing to bet a large number of
the manual construction jobs will be done by noncitizens. Eng and management probably
by US citizens though. Will materials (steel,etc) be US products or imports ?

The precise structure of these private+public arrangements would be similar to what ? How airports are constructed and paid for today ? I bet the inevitability cost overruns will be shouldered by the public.

Ticket price is maybe the main thing. How much would it cost for a one way ticket ? It has to be pretty cheap to entice folks to go rail vs Southwest Airlines. What do you think a family of 4 could afford ?

As for checkin and baggage, I’d imagine it would need to be like airport screening. And that is still a big annoyance to me. So I see no real improvement there in the overall travel experience. Once onboard , I would envision a more pleasant overall experience however.

In terms of energy and pollution, I think this is a big win.

Personally Overall…undecided…need more details.

From what I remember reading about it since they started getting their ducks in a row, it probably will be similar, but slightly more expensive than a cheap flight. People will pay the slight extra for the ease of travel in comparison.

I’m seeing Hobby to Love SW airlines flights as low as $45.00 ! That has to be because of covid, as that
seems ridiculously low. I consider $79 low. So if they go $100 a pop, I’m doubtful this will spur the
leisure traveler. And if you overestimate the leisure
traveling public, because of price , it will be a flop.

Then again maybe the premise is to target the business travelers who have a larger budget.

But I still see the TSA like checkin to be a downer; or do you guys think mag trains will not be terrorist targets ? Heck, the whole 250 mile track is like a target IMHO.

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My understanding is that TSA train station security is nothing like TSA airport security. It’s just random screening and not screen every passenger. More than likely you’ll breeze right on through.

I think the main target is the biz traveler…less security to deal with, you can work easily on the train, great wifi, more space …
i will say the only mistake I see in the proposal is not linking two airports …rental car, hotel and parking infrastructure could be reused.
also the train could be used by airlines to compete for customers…to get passengers who would otherwise be at competitions hub by bundling rail ticket with air ticket.

Actually, it still might attract them simply because of how much more comfortable train travel is than air.

Having taken AMTRAK from Houston to Cleveland and back several times, I can tell you that even in coach, you can carry on a huge volume, stretch your legs out almost completely, recline almost all the way back, and roam the cars at your leisure.

The food is actually prepared; you aren’t simply given a TV dinner; you actually sit down in a dining car with a menu and eat as if in a restaurant.

And of course, as mentioned, you can hang out in a bar car.

If the price is comparable, or even slightly more, people WILL pay to travel in comfort and style to Dallas in 1.5 hours.

All good reasons on the comfort factor. But for a family of 5, do you want to drop $500 on travel alone or spend your dollars on your destination ?

I must admit I’ve been educated on the security aspect of high speed train travel. As a tens of billion dollar target, I would’ve guessed it would be high on somebody’s list. Of course we don’t really have any
operational high speed trains (Acela being close) in the US; however passenger trains don’t seem to be targets in other countries either.

True it’s about ease of transportation vs cost which is the goal along with faster turnaround vs 3 or 4 hrs time spent on a flight scenario.

NRGcoog, you bring up excellent points that should be available to the public. Is it already?

Gas prices around the world? See where we stand vs Europe and Japan?

You now understand why trains are so popular. Don’t get me wrong I love trains, really do.

The biggest question to me is why has Armtrak not retrofitted its rails systems to accommodate high speed trains already?
The Europeans did not do it (train track conversions) quickly. It took many years at a very high cost.
Do the economics justify a high speed train or even trains between two major cities?

You want to make sure the following does not happen.

It is great to want a high speed train or any train route for that matter but again does it make sense to the tax payer?
Do you want to pay higher taxes just because you want one? There are a lot of things that I would love to have but does that justify for you to pay for it even though we do not have a clear positive answer that it will make money or at least break even?

Why is it?