$16bn Texas high-speed rail contract signed

Dallas skyline

Major step taken towards first genuinely high-speed rail in America.

Webuild and its US subsidiary Lane Construction have signed a $16bn contract with Texas Central LCC to build the first truly high-speed railway in the United States.

The new line will run between Dallas and Houston and the agreement is the final step ahead of financial closure and the start of construction to provide fast, safe and environmentally friendly travel. Construction will also create thousands of jobs and give a major boost to the economy.

The USA presently has no high-speed railways, which is in severe contrast to large networks already developed across the EU, Japan and China. So it is hoped that the 17,000 jobs involved in engineering and construction of the new line will help to equip America with the skills and experience to build more high speed rail in future. Indeed, much of Webuild’s expertise comes from its work in Europe where it is involved in projects like the high-speed railway between Verona and Padua and multiple projects in the Trans-European Transport Network, which is improving rail connections across the continent.

The Dallas-Houston high-speed railway will be 236 miles long (379km) and will carry travellers at speeds of up to 200 miles per hour (320kmph). That will make it the fastest rail service in America and bring down the journey time between the two cities to less than 90 minutes. There will be a single stop en route, at Brazos Valley near Texas A&M University.

The service is expected to help get around 100,000 “super commuters” out of their cars or skies. The super commuters travel between the two cities every week and the faster rail option is seen as a valuable alternative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Facts and figures
At present, 13 million people travel between Houston and Dallas by car or by air each year.

The railway will be 380 kilometres long and provide a 90-minute journey time with departures every 30 minutes.

Dallas and Houston are the fourth and fifth largest economic centres in the U.S, after New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

The total investment for the Texas High Speed Rail is expected to be $16bn.

Upon opening, the new railway should remove over 14,00 car journeys per day between the two cities.

This will reduce CO2 emissions by around 700,000 metric tons annually.