A long-delayed high-speed rail project using Japanese technology in Texas has finally cleared a major hurdle and could receive a further push by the upcoming change in the White House.
The U.S. federal government recently completed a report on the project’s safety standards and other prerequisites for building the train line.
“The formalities we have long been working on are finally over,” Shin Kaneko, president of Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai), which is backing the project, said at a news conference in Nagoya on Nov. 18. “I am very much relieved by that.”
The project in the Lone Star State would create a 385-kilometer train line that can link Dallas with Houston in about 90 minutes. That length is roughly the same as the travel distance between Tokyo and Nagoya on the Tokaido Shinkansen Line.
In fact, Texas Central Railroad LLC, the project operator, plans to introduce a system modeled after the Tokaido Shinkansen Line. It would use eight-car trains, each with a seating capacity for 400 people and based on JR Tokai’s latest “N700S” series model.
The trains would run every 30 minutes during peak hours.
But one big obstacle remains: how to finance the enormous project.