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Texas T-Bone: It's Not a Steak
Tuesday, July 21, 2009 5:40 PM  

 

High-speed train renderingTexas is ready for its T-Bone, and it's not a steak.

It's the corridor of a proposed high-speed rail that would connect Houston - via College Station - to Temple, with that branch linking to Dallas-Ft. Worth, Austin and San Antonio.  

And Texas is standing in line - along with 39 other states - hoping for money from Uncle Sam to build that rail.

July 10 was the deadline to submit pre-applications for High-Speed and Inter-City Passenger Rail funds from the Federal Railroad Administration.

Competition is fierce. The states are asking for $102 billion in funding - far more that the $8 billion the Obama administration has set aside for high-speed rail in the Recovery and Reinvestment Act for this.

The Texas Department of Transportation is asking that $1.7 billion of the $1.9 billion it is seeking to receive be devoted to the Texas T-Bone.

Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood says he's pleased at the flood of pre-applications.

"It shows that not only does this country want high-speed rail, but also that this country is ready for high-speed rail," he writes in his blog. "The overwhelming responses show that the planners who pre-applied for these grants are way ahead of where everyone thought they'd be in terms of their ability to conceive of and plan these rail lines."Bullet train on bridge

Click here to read more in his blog.

Does Texas have a chance at these funds?

Not much preliminary work has been done yet on these bullet trains - such as environmental studies, feasibility reviews and right-of-way acquisition - but TxDot says it never hurts to ask, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Final applications are due Aug. 24.

Would you leave your car at home and travel on a 200-mile-per-hour train to get to Austin, San Antonio or Dallas? We'd like to hear your thoughts on high-speed rail.

 

 

 

 

Comments

Royko said:

Bad idea!  It is not financially feasible, and taxpayers should no longer be burdened with financing any more bureaucrat rail schemes.

And no more Public-Private-Partnerships as they are seemingly just corrupt schemes to enrich the favored contractor at taxpayer expense.

# July 21, 2009 8:25 PM

Barretto24 said:

The Texas T-Bone sounds like a great idea, however, California already has a nice project going on, and a big one!

Although I want the money, I think California and their rail project deserves it.

--- A LINK TO CALIFORNIA'S RAIL WEBSITE:

http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/

---

# July 21, 2009 8:48 PM

Steve Palmer said:

Why Temple, I wonder? Wouldn't it make more sense to put the T-junction in Austin, which is more likely to be a destination city for a large number of passengers?

In any case, I like the idea of a bullet train connecting Houston, Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio, but whether or not I would use it on a given trip would depend on whether the local transit system in my destination city could get me from the rail station to my final destination. For example, if I were going to a meeting in downtown Austin, and if I could take one bus or walk from the train station to the meeting site, then I would definitely be interested in taking the train. If I were going to visit a friend who lives on the outskirts of Austin, on the other hand, it would probably be hard to get there from the rail station by public transportation and expensive to get there by cab, so I might prefer to drive.

# July 22, 2009 9:32 AM

Peter Wang said:

So Royko, when oil spikes again in 2013, and the airlines crumble, are you going to bike-ride to Dallas?

# July 24, 2009 8:12 AM

don said:

I think it's a good idea, but I just don't think that Texans are going to get out of their pickups and suv's unless gas gets to maybe $20 a gallon.

# July 24, 2009 11:05 AM

Don G said:

Peter Wang said:

So Royko, when oil spikes again in 2013, and the airlines crumble, are you going to bike-ride to Dallas?

IF oil "spikes" as it did last year (due not to supply and demand, but rather to the speculators) we all will simply charge more for services and go on with life, just like we always have.

If the airlines fail and auto use is prohibitive, as you are assuming, what on earth would be the reason train travel would suddenly be the sole means of travel?  It too would die.

Of course, you're talking about fully subsidized train service amd comparing it to roads where I have to pay for the vehicle, insurance, etc, etc and airlines where the vehicles, maintenance, etc etc are also privately paid for?

I am asking everyone to write or call their representatives and demand that all bike owners that use public streets be required to carry full insurance, be registered and pass inspections once a year and be required to stop at ALL stop signs, red lights, not pull up between two autos in adjacent lanes, etc and obey the laws.

In 28 years here I have seen perhaps two bikers who fully observed the laws.

The T Bone, btw is a great plan if it includes some private imvestment and is maglev (aka fully grade separated.

The T Bone should be partly owned by the airlines and all short hop flights could then be converted to maglev (which would be faster than a plane trip...door to door) and they could write off the carbon savings to the Gore-climate fears taxes that are coming (sadly).

# July 24, 2009 3:28 PM

wi11ie said:

DonG said:

"I am asking everyone to write or call their representatives and demand that all bike owners that use public streets be required to carry full insurance, be registered and pass inspections once a year and be required to stop at ALL stop signs, red lights, not pull up between two autos in adjacent lanes, etc and obey the laws."

Yes these idiots that frequent the downtown area are the worst examples of riders that I have ever witnessed.

Demanding favoritism within the law and then clearly disregarding the rules of the road placing other drivers in precarious situations of having to suddenly avoid a rider that has run a light.

A nuisance I tell you, they should be fined then not allowed to share the streets with others if they cant follow common sense driving habits in congestion.

# July 25, 2009 10:57 AM

chef.corey said:

thats true and I agree but I dont know about all the insurance/inspection... its just a bike!

# August 14, 2009 4:02 PM
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