At a recent conference in Hurst, TX, a representative from the Texas Department of Transportation, TxDOT, announced that the department has submitted three grant applications to the U.S. Department of Transportation to advance passenger rail service within the Texas Triangle.
The proposals were submitted under the Corridor Identification Program, a program managed by the Federal Railroad Administration.
If approved, the grants would provide $500,000 in funding, $1.5 million total, for planning for each of TxDOT’s proposed lines: Houston to San Antonio, San Antonio to Dallas-Fort Worth, and Dallas-Fort Worth to Houston along the I-10, I-35, and I-45 corridors.
Jeff Davis, TxDOT’s Rail Division Director, told the group convened for the 19th Annual Southwestern Rail Conference of the plans and formal proposals submitted by the agency. He also announced support for the extension of an Amtrak leg from Meridian, Mississippi to Fort Worth.
Amtrak released plans for servicing the Texas Triangle in 2021 with travel time estimates and service capacity. While they are not TxDOT’s plans, the proposed ones would follow the same route and likely run the same estimated time as Amtrak projected.
The money for expansion would come from programs created by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed by Congress in 2021 and is aimed at the planning and project development stages of the project. According to the FRA, they will be giving preference to “projects that benefit rural and underserved communities” and “tangible public benefits.”
Charles Blain is the president of Urban Reform and the Urban Reform Institute, both of which focus on researching and promoting free-market policies to foster upward mobility for those living in major metro areas. Blain has been published in the Wall Street Journal, City Journal, Forbes, the Houston Chronicle, the Hill, Wired, and HuffPost. He serves on the governing board of the Prison Entrepreneurship Program and the boards of Texas Families First, Good Policy Society, and Entre Capital, a commercial lender for businesses started by ex-offenders. In September 2021, Blain was appointed to a four-year term to the Texas Advisory Committee to the US Commission on Civil Rights.
Photo: screenshot from Amtrak report.