Dallas: Texas Central Finalizes Agreement with Bullet Train Operator
Featured Illustration (above): Conceptual rendering of the Dallas high-speed train station platform. The Dallas-Houston bullet train system developer, Texas Central Railway, has finalized an operations agreement with a Spanish-state-owned company. Image: Texas Central
By Edmond Ortiz
Dallas (Dallas County)—Texas Central, developer of the high-speed Dallas to Houston railway, has finalized its agreement with Spanish state-owned company Renfe Operadora to operate the bullet train line, now slated to launch in 2026.
It was in 2018 when Dallas-based Texas Central named Renfe the operations partner and began contract negotiations.
The drawings show how seat layouts aboard the planned Dallas-Houston bullet train cars will have more aisle width and legroom than the average passenger jet. The train cars, also, will have no middle seats. Image: Texas Central
Renfe, a passenger and freight train operator, announced the contract value at $311 million. Their role includes consultation with Salini Impregilo and their U.S. subsidiary, Lane Construction Corp.
The Salini Impregilo/Lane Construction venture provides engineering and construction services, and will be the design-builder of the rail system.
Officials from Renfe added that providing operational and maintenance services between 2026 and 2042 is expected to generate another $5.6 billion.
Total estimated project cost now runs $20 billion. When fully operational, the Dallas-Houston route by rail will have an anticipated duration of about 90 minutes, according to Texas Central.
Texas Central plans to use Central Japan Railway’s Tokaido Shinkansen Series N700 trains on its system. Texas Central will customize those trains with a modified layout that will provide passengers with one more foot of legroom than those that run in Japan.
The train cars will contain 2/1 and 2/2 seat configurations, free WiFi, 32-inch-wide aisles, and 20-inch x 20.5-inch windows. VBX members may track this project using ID number: 2019-6B9A.
The Dallas-Houston bullet train link still awaits final approvals from the Federal Railroad Administration, and still faces some opposition from property owners and other groups along the proposed path of the rail line.
Preliminary drawings of the planned train cars. Image: Texas Central
Edmond Ortiz is a lifelong San Antonian and a 20-plus-year veteran in local journalism, He previously worked full-time at the San Antonio Express-News, and has been freelancing for outlets such as the Rivard Report.