The bullet train planned between Houston and Dallas has a builder.
Texas Central, the private company developing the Texas Bullet Train, announced Friday morning it signed a deal with Salini Impregilo, the Italian construction giant, and its American subsidiary, Lane Construction.
“This agreement brings us one step closer to beginning construction of the civil infrastructure segments of the project,” said Texas Central CEO Carlos F. Aguilar, in a statement.
The deal is valued at $14 billion and includes final engineering and design of the 240-mile high-speed rail line and construction of the route, mostly along a utility corridor between the two metro regions.
The Federal Railway Administration granted the Rule of Particular Applicability—or RPA—to Texas Central on Sept. 4 regarding the high-speed rail project slated to connect Dallas and Houston, according to a Sept. 4 press release from Texas Central.
This means the high-speed rail project is on track for both FRA actions—the RPA and the environmental permit—to be completed in 2020 with financial close and construction quickly following, according to the release.
RPAs are regulations that apply to a specific railroad or a specific type of operation to ensure a project’s safety, according to FRA information. This action, along with an environmental permit, is required before the project can be implemented.
“The FRA’s action on the Rule of Particular Applicability marks a major milestone in our quest to bring a transformative mobility solution, while minimizing impact on the environment and land use, as opposed to other options,” Texas Central CEO Carlos Aguilar said in the release. “We will meet or exceed all requirements the FRA mandates, to ensure we have the safest high-speed rail system in the world.”
Here’s a longer version of the story. The Environmental Impact Statement is as always the big hurdle to clear. If they’re on pace for that, then we really will see actual construction begin. I’ll be looking for it.