TFA tends to be a bit cautious about throwing around the HSR tag. Amtrak President Boardman has correctly observed the difficulties of instituting true European-style 200 mph. rail service. Environmental, logistical and budgetary hurdles are substantial. We grant tht the payoff can be big and especially between population centers like Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio.
In Texas, three of the countries top 10 cities are very close together. Real high speed rail makes a lot of sense in the Lone Star State. The Houston Chronicle agrees and has a fact filled expansive editorial on the subject.
High-speed rail will “shrink Texas,” to borrow Eckels’ words, and that is so in more than just the geographic sense. True, the sheer speed of modern rail, which has become quotidian in Japan and Europe over the past three decades, will do likewise here — erasing our state’s storied distances with stunning ease. But it also stands to have an enormous impact as an economic tool — helping to shape the state into a more coherent economic unit, one with a daunting capacity to compete globally in this high-tech era. As well, the T-bone route would connect the U.S. Army base at Fort Hood in Central Texas with the Port of Houston, adding a security benefit to the others mentioned, and creating the likelihood of a Department of Defense contribution to its construction.