Could This Be the Passenger Rail Plan That Finally Sticks?

There's hope that a new passenger rail study, done by the Texas Department of Transportation, will renew interest in a train line connecting San Antonio and Dallas, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

"Some entities have expressed interest in the study," Deputy Executive Director Marc Williams says.  "Entities that are affiliated with other high-speed rail services in other parts of the world."

The study found that passenger rail service along the I-35 corridor could feasibly reach 220 mph. That means the trip between the metropolises would be a little over an hour.  Even with a stop in Austin,  

Peter LeCody, who heads Texas Rail Advocates says that would still likely be less than going to the airport, parking and taking your shoes off for the security agent.

"We have a generational opportunity right now in Texas to move forward with passenger rail and finally do something about relieving congestion," he says.

And it comes at a time when projected growth in Texas is skyrocketing.  

The state is growing by over 650 people a day.  By 2050, some projects show that the Texas population could double.  Most of that is happening along the I-35 corridor.

The study also found that service of up to 125 mph would be possible between San Antonio and the Rio Grande Valley.

Williams says the next step is ultimately up to a private company.

"Should somebody come in the future and want to look at carrying this forward, it's at least one step closer to gaining the federal approval that it would need to have."

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