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The Chron on the lost SUPERTRAIN opportunity

The Chron is none too pleased with the way Texas fared with federal funds for high speed rail.

Texas Department of Transportation spokesman Chris Lippincott stated the obvious: Texas needs to have more plans in that “shovel-ready” shape. Lippincott says the near shutout in federal funding was “not a surprise.”

It certainly surprised us. We had assumed that Texas’ business of making its case before the federal bureaucracy was being handled capably and almost routinely. That was the impression given on a visit here awhile back by members of the Texas High-Speed Rail Authority, a nonprofit group composed mostly of former public officeholders.

On the merits, Texas has an utterly compelling case for high-speed rail connecting Houston with Dallas-Fort Worth and the Austin-San Antonio area. That is what makes this failure to lead, to get organized, however you want to describe it, such a vexation.

I think we all get what the problem was. The path forward, that’s a harder thing to figure out. I’ll say again, the necessary first step is new leadership for Texas, but I’m not laboring under the illusion that that’s a sufficient step. Still, if we don’t take that first step, we can’t get anywhere else.

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