The high-speed train between Houston and Dallas is still not officially official — but now it has a builder.
Texas Central, the developer of the Texas Bullet Train, has signed a contract with Salini Impregilo, an Italian construction company and one of the largest civil engineering contractors in the world, and its American subsidiary, Lane Construction.
"This agreement brings us one step closer to beginning construction of the civil infrastructure segments of the project," said Texas Central CEO Carlos F. Aguilar, in a release.
The train still can't move forward because it doesn't own all of the land necessary for the route.
But if/when it does get the land, Salini Impregilo will do the following:
- supply the civil and infrastructure scope, including the design and construction of the viaduct and embankment sections along the entire route
- install the track system
- oversee alignment and construction of all buildings and services that will house maintenance and other rail system equipment
Salini-Lane had previously provided front-end engineering and design for the train's civil infrastructure, as well as an analysis of construction costs and schedule estimates.
"Salini-Lane's unmatched track record with rail infrastructure and, very specifically, its world-class high-speed rail expertise across the globe will be central to the completion of America's first end-to-end high-speed rail system," Aguilar says.
Salini's CEO Pietro Salini says in a statement that the company is both thrilled and honored to bring its large-scale railway expertise to the project.
Salini Impregilo is active in more than 50 countries on five continents, with experience building more than 4,000 miles of railway infrastructure around the world. It has built high-speed train projects in Europe and some iconic projects in the world, including the expansion of the Panama Canal.
Although the company has worked in the U.S. since the 1980s, it expanded its presence in 2016 when it merged with The Lane Construction Corporation, a U.S.-based company with almost 130 years of experience in infrastructure work.
The Texas train will be based on Central Japan Railway's Tokaido Shinkansen train system, which is considered the safest mass transportation system in the world.
The system has transported more than 10 billion passengers in 54-plus years, with no fatalities or injuries from operations, and has an impeccable on-time performance record.
It will debut a new train, the Shinkansen N700S, the sixth generation of this train, before the 2020 Olympics.