TxDOT looking at passenger rail along I-35 corridor
High-speed rail, with a long history of unfulfilled dreams in Texas, is getting another long look from the Texas Department of Transportation.
The agency, using almost $9 million in grants from the Obama administration, $1.4 million in TxDOT money and some in-kind services from other governmental entities, has begun a $14 million, two-year study of passenger rail possibilities from Oklahoma City to the Rio Grande. That will include not only high-speed rail, typically defined as train speeds of 125 mph and up, but also the lower-cost possibilities of increasing speeds on Amtrak’s routes in the Interstate 35 corridor.
The study will explore rail as a possible antidote to growing congestion on I-35 and will examine funding options, including public-private partnerships.
“This is to define the parameters of what can be done, and what needs to be done,” Bill Glavin, TxDOT’s rail division director, told the American-Statesman on Tuesday. High-speed rail, he said, “is one of the possibilities of a myriad of possibilities we’ll be examining.”