next stop, houston
Texas high-speed train team reveals Houston station location
The hotly anticipated Houston-to-Dallas bullet train project has come closer to reality, as Houston now has its terminal.
Northwest Mall, at the interchange of Loop 610 and U.S. 290, is the preferred site of the new passenger station, Houston officials and Texas Central announced Monday, February 5. Texas Central is the the high-speed train development company seeking federal approval for a 240-mile high-speed train line.
The terminal is touted for its location in a “high-growth area, with easy access to employment centers, including the Galleria, the Energy Corridor, and downtown,” according to an official statement. “The station not only will be a catalyst for economic growth but it also will offer a convenient, efficient and direct network for passengers to and from local transit systems.”
The selection comes about a month after federal regulators released an environmental analysis that said the 200-mph, Houston-to-North Texas train would alleviate the strain on the state’s existing infrastructure and is needed to accommodate growing demands.
Though the project is oft-debated, there are promises of traffic congestion relief, and safer roadways. Backers say that the bullet train is expected to remove 14,630 cars daily from Interstate 45 — which will save 8.5 million gallons of gas a year. Proponents also note that the train is said to be utilizing the industry’s safest technology, while citing I-45 as the second deadliest highway in America.
Texas Central released maps and conceptual renderings — final designs are pending — that show a multi-level station on a 45-acre site. It will link seamlessly with other forms of transportation, including proposed traveler-friendly connections with the greater Houston region.
According to the federal report, the Houston station’s concourses will consist of public areas, restaurants, bars, seating areas, concessions and newsstands, along with pedestrian connections to an adjacent parking facility.
Mayor Sylvester Turner believes that with this development, Houston is on track for his transportation goals. “Houston continues to grow,” he says. “Growing the smart way includes providing a wider choice of transportation options beyond more private vehicles and more roads. The Texas Bullet Train fits the transportation paradigm shift I have called for. And now with a preferred location for the Houston station, we are one big step closer to boarding for an exciting trip to the Brazos Valley and on to Dallas.”
Drayton McLane Jr., former Houston Astros owner, and chairman of the board of directors for Texas Central, says the company is looking forward to working with the city and the region on an innovative project that will help the economy, generate more local revenue and provide new job opportunities.
“As our state grows, we’re moving further apart as a result of travel time and increasing congestion. The Texas Bullet Train answers that. This will bring us closer together and fuel a super economy that rivals any in the world,” McLane says.