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