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Texas DOT to study Oklahoma-to-south Texas rail service

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) recently kicked off a two-year study to determine the possibility of expanding passenger-rail service between Oklahoma City, Okla., and south Texas.

The study will examine the best options for deploying passenger trains to connect Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin and San Antonio, Texas, and compare different types of service, such as existing Amtrak routes and a new high-speed rail system, TxDOT officials said in a prepared statement.

"The study will help define the path forward for passenger rail along a heavily traveled corridor and provide the citizens of Texas with an alternative to congested highways," said TxDOT Rail Division Director Bill Glavin.

The study also will outline potential funding options, such as public-private partnerships.

The $14 million effort is being funded in part through a $5.6 million High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail program grant. TxDOT is providing a 20 percent match.

If built, an Oklahoma City-to-south Texas line could provide the foundation for a high-speed or higher-performance rail system that eventually could connect all of Texas' major metropolitan areas, officials said.

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