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Once-in-a-generation opportunity arises to build a high-speed rail project linking two major US cities: 'Another step forward'

The project expects to generate thousands of jobs.

The project expects to generate thousands of jobs.

Photo Credit: iStock

A high-speed rail project that would reduce travel times between Houston and Dallas by more than half with Japan's Shinkansen technology has attracted a $500,000 federal grant. 

Houston Public Media News 88.7 reported in December that Amtrak received the funds to develop the project from the Federal Railroad Administration, according to KERA News. This was thanks to the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which allocated up to $108 billion for public transportation initiatives. 

"President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law gave us a once-in-a-generation opportunity to think smart and think big about the future of rail in America, and we are taking full advantage of the resources we have to advance world-class passenger rail services nationwide," FRA administrator Amit Bose said in a press release. 

The project, which expects to generate thousands of jobs, will partner with Dallas-based company Texas Central and intends to use Houston's former Northwest Mall as one terminal. 

While the plans need further work before any construction can begin — with land acquisition being one reported hurdle — the latest funds have provided hope that the gears will start turning more rapidly after a 10-year development process, as reported by The Texan

As it stands, the fastest route from Houston to Dallas is on Interstate 45, which was named the most deadly road in the United States. A national study by insurance brand Budget Direct found that the busy interstate has "56.5 fatal accidents for every 100 miles." 

However, Amtrak and Texas Central estimate that the Houston-to-Dallas rail project would "lead to the removal of 12,500 cars per day" from I-45, per News 88.7, helping to cut down on some of the busyness that has contributed to the danger while providing passengers with a travel experience that has been praised in other parts of the world. 

The business partners also project that the option to take public transportation will eliminate more than 100,000 tons of pollution annually, clearing the air of large amounts of asthma-causing fumes and planet-warming gases

"Today's announcement is another step forward as we advance transformative projects that will carry Americans for decades to come and provide them with convenient, climate-friendly alternatives to congested roads and airports," Bose added in the press release. 

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