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Don’t hold your breath for high speed rail

It’s still years away from being anything more than a wish list item.

Bill Glavin, appointed late last year as the Texas Department of Transportation’s first rail director, told the Tarrant Regional Mobility Coalition on Wednesday that years of careful planning lie ahead.

“The plan we produce this fall will not have lines on a map. We’re not there yet,” Glavin said. “We will have a list of potential improvements, public and private, freight and passenger rail, and we can begin to lay out the costs and the expected revenues.”

This summer, Glavin’s rail division plans to hold meetings across Texas to talk with residents about the prospects of connecting Dallas-Fort Worth to places such as San Antonio, Oklahoma City and Houston by the next generation of passenger rail.

Information from those meetings — dates have not been announced — will be used to create Texas’ first official rail plan, a document that advocates say will dramatically help the state qualify for federal high-speed-rail funding.

Glavin cautioned the coalition that the first edition of the plan will talk about high-speed-rail corridors only in the broadest sense and will not even identify which rail lines may be used.

We’re working to qualify for federal funds to study potential HSR corridors. That should give you some idea of how far off this is. The Lege will need to keep doing its part, and of course it would help if TxDOT didn’t engage in any funny business with funds that were designated for rail. In the meantime, maybe we’ll finally get more local rail infrastructure built out, assuming nothing else goes wrong with that.

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  1. […] as we know, the state of Texas is not exactly in a strong position when it comes to planning and executing this sort of project. I blogged about LSTAR in November of […]