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Rail News: High-Speed Rail

Texas high-speed rail line would have $36 billion economic impact, study says

A proposed high-speed rail line that would link Dallas and Houston could produce more than $36 billion in economic benefits for the state over the next 25 years, the private company that’s developing the project announced today.

The high-speed rail system would bolster local and statewide economies through direct spending, increased employment and taxes paid by the project, according to Texas Central Partners, the private firm developing the high-speed train.

The company released those and other findings of a study by Insight Research Corp. of Allen, Texas, which evaluated the project’s potential economic impact. The study showed the project would provide a “substantial and long-lasting” economic benefit to the state, Texas Central officials said in a press release.

The $36 billion figure includes the initial $10 billion that Texas Central said it will spend on the projects design and construction.

The proposed project would construct a high-speed line that would transport riders between Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston in under 90 minutes, with a stop in Grimes County. The company, which is using private funds to build and operate the project, said it plans to begin operations in 2021.

“Texas Central’s high-speed rail project will have a substantial and long-lasting positive impact on the state’s economy. It not only will help alleviate growing congestion on crowded roadways but also give the state additional tax revenue for its purposes and projects,” said Tim Keith, chief executive officer of Texas Central.

As part of today’s announcement, Texas Central officials said the firm will pay nearly $2.5 billion in tax revenue to the state, counties, local municipalities and school districts between now and 2040 as a result of the infrastructure investment.

Additionally, the company will invest $1 billion in Grimes County, where the Brazos Valley Station would be built. The station could attract retail and large-lot residential development, Texas Central officials said.

The study also made the following findings, according to Texas Central:
• The project would create an average of 10,000 jobs per year over the four years for construction;
• Texas Central will employ about 1,000 permanent employees along the entire route, including operations and maintenance, once service begins;
• Transit-oriented and other private development around the stations and elsewhere is expected to generate $1.9 billion in tax revenue.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/15/2015