As we have reported here often, the federal government is about to dump a lot of money on states to develop a handful of high-speed passenger rail corridors, and the good news for us is that Texas is home to two of the 11 routes highlighted for special focus. (Click here for the feds’ plan: hsrstrategicplan.pdf.)
The bad news? As I wrote in a short piece for the newspaper this morning, Texas is so poorly positioned to build its rail lines, it’s all but certain to be shut out of the big money. (Another take on the same theme, from San Antonio, is here.)
The reason for this, in short, is that other states are way ahead of us in laying the groundwork for building rail infrastructure and dealing with the funding issues for same. Christof gave a to-do list awhile ago. And we did at least get a bill passed and signed to authorize a study of high speed rail. But that’s just a baby step, and several other states are far ahead of us. We’ve got a lot of catching up to do, or we’ll lose out on a lot of federal dollars in the next few years. That would be a huge missed opportunity, and a real shame.