Trains For America

More choices for better transportation

Texans voice support for High Speed Rail

OK. Logan and I have both been negligent. That means you will all get refunds of your subscriptions. Furthermore, as a sign of good will and a peace offering, here is a news item from Marshall, Texas concerning HSR in the Texas region. This one is full of details you will find fascinating.

Linda Young – AHN Editor

Marshall, TX (AHN) – Even commissioners in a small northeastern Texas county along the Louisiana border have hopped on the bandwagon of commuters and business people being able to shed their cars to get around Texas – and eventually travel to other states – as quickly as they could drive there or faster.

Harrison County Commissioners on Tuesday voted to approve a resolution supporting a bill passed by the state legislature in 2007 to develop a statewide rail transit system.

That statewide system calls for building a double-track system now under way. The system will have passenger rails running parallel to the existing tracks for freight lines, and trains would be switched between the two.

“They’re starting in San Antonio and moving toward Austin,” Bexar County Judge Richard Anderson was quoted as saying by the Marshall News Messenger.

It was Anderson who pushed the Harrison County Commission to pass the resolution.

He would like to see tracks for moving high speed passenger rail cars link Harrison County to the rest of Texas. Then he would like to see the system expanded to link Texas to Louisiana, Arkansas and Tennessee, according to the Marshall News Messenger.

Texas Rail Advocates, an organization supporting high speed trains in Texas says that travel on such a train traveling at 90- to 110-miles per hour between downtown Houston and downtown Dallas would take three hours less than flying there would, according to a statement on the organization’s website.

Texas Rail Advocates puts into perspective some of the benefits of building a high speed passenger rail system.

  • You can relax instead of worrying about traffic around you, accidents and construction zones
  • You can use a cell phone all the way
  • You can work on your laptop when you choose
  • You can get food and refreshments on board
  • You can read a book or sleep
  • You are using a fuel efficient form of transportation
  • You don’t have to take off your shoes at a TSA security checkpoint

Here is a sampling of travel times for between a few other select cities.

  • Fort Worth to Austin – 187 miles – 3 hours by car (average 60 miles per hour) – way under 3 hours by train (average 85 miles per hour);
  • Austin to San Antonio – 79 miles – 1 1/2 hours by car (if you could average 60 miles per hour in this congested corridor) – a little over an hour by train that averaged 80 mph with an intermediate stop; and
  • Dallas to Longview – 125 miles – about 2 hours by car and under 2 hours by train.

At a time when high gasoline prices coupled with concerns over greenhouse gas emissions and global warming have more Americans seeking ways to get from one place to another without driving alone in a car, those kinds of travel times times make sense.


Filed under: Passenger Rail Politics, Passenger Rail Transportatio Policy, United States High Speed Rail

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October 2008