The much-anticipated high-speed rail — set to connect Houston and Dallas with bullet trains (eventually) — is making moves again, but this time, its plans are making The Woodlands feel left out.
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) released maps of nine potential routes to connect the two cities. Only two of those routes were "selected for detailed evaluation" for the proposed Texas Central High-Speed Rail system. The selected routes lead to Houston from either State Highway 249 or U.S. Highway 290, eventually intersecting with the 610 Loop and ending inside the city.
Unfortunately for The Woodlands, one of the fastest-growing local hotspots, neither of these routes would allow for a stop there.
The 205 MPH high-speed trains would potentially allow passengers to travel between Dallas and Houston in about 90 minutes.
"We felt like from a demographic standpoint, we would have a very high level of usage for this project, seeing as how the oil companies are connected to the Dallas region also," Jeff Long, a member of The Woodlands Township transportation committee, tells the Houston Business Journal.
According to the website for the federally mandated environmental impact study, the decision to avoid the I-45 corridor has to do with saving funds and general feasibility. With The Woodlands area growing so quickly and becoming a business hub of its own, Long does not understand why the rail wouldn't stop at the township.
"The fact that we have a demographically wealthy community and we have folks that could afford more of a luxury ride into the Houston-downtown area, it would be more of a commuter route," Long tells the Business Journal.
The 205 MPH high-speed trains would potentially allow passengers to travel between Dallas and Houston in about 90 minutes. The privately-funded rail could start service by 2021.