Texas Central HSR (Houston - DFW Dallas Fort Worth)

General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

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mtuandrew
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Re: Texas Central HSR (Houston - DFW Dallas Fort Worth)

Post by mtuandrew »

Interesting discussion indeed.

The one elephant in the room is potential real estate revenues. Like Amtrak and Brightline, TCRY intends to leverage commercial real estate at every station. Both ends will create new city centers, especially in Houston. How many millions a year will that contribute, in year 10 if not year 1? (I honestly don’t know.)

I’m not sure whether there will also be ROW usage by utility companies, but it would be unsurprising.

Arlington
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Re: Texas Central HSR (Houston - DFW Dallas Fort Worth)

Post by Arlington »

If WN fares vary between $100 and $260, what is the average DAL-HOU fare (from BTS?)
If the real number is significantly higher than the $100 I've been using, every bit of that flows to TC's bottom line estimates.
"Trying to solve congestion by making roadways wider is like trying to solve obesity by buying bigger pants."--Charles Marohn

dgvrengineer
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Re: Texas Central HSR (Houston - DFW Dallas Fort Worth)

Post by dgvrengineer »

I think TC's entrance into the Dallas-Houston market would generate a "price war" especially if they start to take a significant amount of business from the airlines. So they may not be able to get $100 or more per trip at least until things settle out.

eolesen
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Re: Texas Central HSR (Houston - DFW Dallas Fort Worth)

Post by eolesen »

mtuandrew wrote:Interesting discussion indeed.

The one elephant in the room is potential real estate revenues. Like Amtrak and Brightline, TCRY intends to leverage commercial real estate at every station. Both ends will create new city centers, especially in Houston. How many millions a year will that contribute, in year 10 if not year 1? (I honestly don’t know.)

I’m not sure whether there will also be ROW usage by utility companies, but it would be unsurprising.
Yeah, not so sure about creating a new city center.... they’re favoring area that are brownfield development, but that doesn’t always mean it’s going to work.

Northwest Mall in HOU is the preferred site. The mall has been shuttered for almost two years, but had been sitting at 70% or less occupancy for most of the prior ten years. It sits right next to the interchange of US290 and I-610, which is otherwise a largely industrial area. Outside the mall footprint, the Houston ISD has an adjacent parcel where it has its admin offices, as well as a sports complex (large arena and several football/soccer fields. Access to the site is poor, as the interchange forces the nearest exits to be about a mile in either direction along 610. Extending the light rail network to the site would require about 7 miles on the green/purple lines.

The Dallas site is almost downtown, and considerably better. It’s on the light rail network, but also suffers to a lesser degree from poor road access.

Arlington
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Re: Texas Central HSR (Houston - DFW Dallas Fort Worth)

Post by Arlington »

Both sites are essentially better than Brightline's in terms of potential. Similar "neighborhood from nothing" mechanics and two substantially-larger metro economies.

The Brazos/College Station area is interesting but there will undoubtedly be households where "he" works in Dallas and "she" works in Houston. It will be the ultimate "serve both markets" location for people who mostly work at home but have clients at either end. This is similar to what's powered NEC ridership at BWI and all of Amtrak Virginia.

All of which goes to: Don't minimize the potential that real estate will contribute substantially to TCs ability to pay back its loans.
"Trying to solve congestion by making roadways wider is like trying to solve obesity by buying bigger pants."--Charles Marohn

mtuandrew
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Re: Texas Central HSR (Houston - DFW Dallas Fort Worth)

Post by mtuandrew »

Mr. Olesen: that Northwest Mall site looks like a gem in terms of redevelopment. The mall is half of the draw, but look at all the light industrial properties opposite the tracks ripe for adding value. Lofts are starting to creep into the area off Post Oak, and there are already high-rises across the freeway so it has some weight as a commercial center. Houston Independent School District is a draw in its own way, as an additional anchor for public transit and as a development relief valve (they have a LOT of surface parking lots that could be garages & mixed-use.) The highway access issue is real, but if Texas Central makes this their home, they will work with the state to vastly improve access from the Northwest and West Loop Freeways.

And, if TCRY does change its mind and move downtown later, congrats! they just created $500M in real estate value and a valuable suburban station like RTE, NCR, or MET on Amtrak.

Jadebenn
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Re: Texas Central HSR (Houston - DFW Dallas Fort Worth)

Post by Jadebenn »

If I could stake out a middle ground here, I do believe the Texas Central project will be a government-subsidized venture; just not by our government.

Following Japan's other overseas HSR ventures, there's always been a financing component. The Japanese seem to have come to the conclusion they can't beat the Europeans on cost, so they use the offer of below market-rate financing to entice potential customers. In India, Indonesia, and Taiwan, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) has offered low-interest financing to help cover the costs of these Shinkansen projects.

Considering some of TCR's behavior (in addition to the fact that the JBIC has already given them $300M to bring the federal permitting process to a close), I have very little doubt that they have some sort of deal with TCR to do the same here as well. In fact, a lot of TCR's seemingly odd behavior makes sense when analyzed under this assumption, such as why the project's purpose as listed in the DEIS is NOT for a non-specific HSR system connecting Houston and Dallas, but for an HSR system utilizing the N700I system. TCR must have intentionally baked it into their EIS as part of their agreement with their Japanese backers.

Now, I doubt the financing for the Texas project will be as generous as some of the deals given to some of the less-developed countries above. Private investment will almost certainly be required to make up the difference. Still, I'd imagine they're planning to front a pretty significant chunk of it (if you'll pardon my hearsay, I've heard the current prediction is about half of the financial requirements, but don't quote me on that).

frequentflyer
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Re: Texas Central HSR (Houston - DFW Dallas Fort Worth)

Post by frequentflyer »

Arlington wrote:If WN fares vary between $100 and $260, what is the average DAL-HOU fare (from BTS?)
If the real number is significantly higher than the $100 I've been using, every bit of that flows to TC's bottom line estimates.
No it won't, SWA would be happy for the TC to take most of the DAL-HOU business. SWA only has 20 gates at the new Love Field Terminal and by law its prevented from expanding for a couple of more years. SWA has roughly 20 or more flights from DAL-HOU ( down from the heyday of almost 40 flights every thirty minutes). SWA would love to replace some of those short hops with longer higher yielding flights say to either coasts from DAL. Its the reason why SWA did not fight this TC proposal like they did the previous high speed effort in the 90s.

eolesen
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Re: Texas Central HSR (Houston - DFW Dallas Fort Worth)

Post by eolesen »

http://texasrailadvocates.org/2019/02/0 ... -in-austin" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Jeff Smith
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Re: Texas Central HSR (Houston - DFW Dallas Fort Worth)

Post by Jeff Smith »

More partners coming aboard: https://www.chron.com/neighborhood/spri ... 887532.php
The latest news in the project was the announcement of a new agreement with Mass. Electric, who will work with Texas Central to help install the electrical systems and equipment, including power, signaling and communications. This company is the latest of many partners to join the rail project, which plans to transport travelers between Houston and North Texas in 90 minutes, including a stop in the Bryan-College Station area.

Mass. Electric has completed numerous transportation projects nationwide, such as phase two of the Houston Light Rail project, the DART Green Line in Dallas and Union Station in Denver. The rail system itself will be based on a railway in Japan, the Shinkansen N700S train system.

“This project draws on our extensive experience in delivering high-quality rail systems safely and effectively,” Mass. Electric Project Director Mark Williams said in a news release. “We are excited to play a key role in the nation’s first high-speed train project.”
...
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electricron
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Re: Texas Central HSR (Houston - DFW Dallas Fort Worth)

Post by electricron »

On Texas Central's Twitter, they recently answered a tweet by the new mayor of Houston, stating construction to start Q3 of 2020. That certainly is not an official press release, but should we acknowledge the informal tweet?
https://twitter.com/TexasCentral/status ... 6170247171

ziggyzack1234
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Re: Texas Central HSR (Houston - DFW Dallas Fort Worth)

Post by ziggyzack1234 »

electricron wrote:
Sat Jan 04, 2020 12:28 am
On Texas Central's Twitter, they recently answered a tweet by the new mayor of Houston, stating construction to start Q3 of 2020. That certainly is not an official press release, but should we acknowledge the informal tweet?
https://twitter.com/TexasCentral/status ... 6170247171
In my opinion, while you don't get more official than press releases, the official Twitter isn't to be ignored. I think it's the official prediction, as the Record of Decision among other details has yet to be set in stone. Can't say for sure when dinner will be ready until all the ingredients have been accounted for.

eolesen
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Re: Texas Central HSR (Houston - DFW Dallas Fort Worth)

Post by eolesen »

Yeah, no. I wouldn't consider social media announcements to be binding... too often they're farmed out to a PR agency.

Pensyfan19
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Re: Texas Central HSR (Houston - DFW Dallas Fort Worth)

Post by Pensyfan19 »

https://amp.rfi.fr/en/wires/20200220-re ... XOcsZ6Qlyc

RENFE to help construct the Texas Central Railway and operate it until 2042?!?!?! Does this mean that Texas Central Railway is open to franchising like Britain's private railways?!
"Look down, step over, and watch the gap!" - Dr. John Clarke, the Gap Rap, 2010

Sorry in advance if you do not agree with my opinion.

bostontrainguy
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Re: Texas Central HSR (Houston - DFW Dallas Fort Worth)

Post by bostontrainguy »

Pensyfan19 wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 8:15 pm
https://amp.rfi.fr/en/wires/20200220-re ... XOcsZ6Qlyc

RENFE to help construct the Texas Central Railway and operate it until 2042?!?!?! Does this mean that Texas Central Railway is open to franchising like Britain's private railways?!
Funny. If you check out their website the train looks very Japanese.
https://www.texascentral.com/posts/mile ... eed-train/

Also, please note Amtrak . . . they are not forcing half of the passengers to ride backwards!!!

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