NCTCOG study examines opportunities to bring high-speed service to region, connect riders to Houston
Aug. 15, 2023 (Arlington, TEXAS) – Imagine boarding a train in Tarrant County and being transported to Houston in less than two hours, bypassing the traffic along the region’s major highways and the potential backups that may occur.
This vision is closer to reality thanks to separate high-speed rail projects that could ultimately connect to form a system that will allow people to travel from Fort Worth or Arlington to Houston without changing trains.
Last week, Amtrak and Texas Central Partners announced a plan to work together to study moving forward with the long-planned high-speed rail line to Houston, with a station in the Bryan-College Station area.
The North Central Texas Council of Governments is moving ahead on a plan to bring high-speed rail service to the Interstate Highway 30 corridor, connecting Fort Worth and Arlington to Dallas and the planned high-speed rail line to Houston
NCTCOG studied 43 potential alignments and a series of potential high-speed technologies as part of Phase 1 of the Dallas-Fort Worth High-Speed Transportation Connections Study. High-speed rail along the IH 30 corridor emerged as the preferred method to connect people from throughout the region to the planned Dallas-Houston route. The DFW High-Speed Transportation Connections Study will move into the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) portion of Phase 2 in September, focusing on route alignment, possible station locations and potential social and environmental impacts. This environmental process is expected to be completed in a year and will include opportunities for the public to provide input on priorities.
“We applaud the partnership between Amtrak and Texas Central Partners to connect North Texas and Houston with innovative technology,” Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker said. “Extending high-speed rail along Interstate Highway 30 is key to ensuring Fort Worth residents can continue to travel reliably as the region grows and traffic increases. With the collaboration of our North Texas neighbors, as well as the North Central Texas Council of Governments and our federal and private-sector partners, high-speed rail can be more than just a vision. It can become reality.”
Dallas-Fort Worth has a population of more than 8 million people and stands to eclipse 11 million by 2045. This type of growth necessitates an embrace of innovative transportation options to preserve and enhance the region’s quality of life. Connecting two of the country’s largest metropolitan areas with high-speed trains that move in excess of 200 mph could improve safety and reliability while fostering even greater economic growth.
Arlington Mayor Jim Ross sees high-speed rail as a transformative technology that can help move people through the region and can complement the current transportation network.
“Arlington is excited to partner in the effort to bring high-speed rail to our region,” Mayor Ross said. “North Texas remains one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the country with no sign of slowing down. This requires continued creativity, including examining new ways to move people. Adding high-speed rail as an option for people to get to Arlington, whether they live or work here, or are visiting our world-class Entertainment District, would be revolutionary.”
About the North Central Texas Council of Governments:
NCTCOG is a voluntary association of local governments established in 1966 to assist local governments in planning for common needs, cooperating for mutual benefit and coordinating for sound regional development. NCTCOG’s purpose is to strengthen both the individual and collective power of local governments and to help them recognize regional opportunities, eliminate unnecessary duplication and make joint decisions.
NCTCOG serves a 16-county region of North Central Texas, which is centered on the two urban centers of Dallas and Fort Worth. Currently, NCTCOG has 228 member governments including 16 counties, 169 cities, 19 school districts and 24 special districts. For more information on NCTCOG, visit www.nctcog.org.