Texas Central Railway

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Anderson

Conductor
Joined
Nov 16, 2010
Messages
9,554
Houston to Dallas at a zillion miles an hour. Dallas to El Paso at 12mph.
Maybe such a transfer would compel Texans to pressure their U.S. Congresspersons to fund improvements to the TE route.
More likely a re-evaluation of the Texas Triangle route, which would make total sense.
The more likely scenario will be if Dallas-Houston is successful, then Houston-San Antonio and Dallas-San Antonio will be next on their expansion list.
What seems likely (to me, at least) is a San Antonio-Austin-[somewhere in the middle of the existing route] line. You'd have an expensive junction to accommodate San Antonio-Dallas and San Antonio-Houston trains, but doing so probably saves you something like 50-70 miles of track construction (at a minimum). There's a reasonable chance that adding San Antonio and Austin together (to Houston) at the cost of adding 10-15 minutes to travel time would do better than "just" San Antonio-Houston. Granted, you would ideally find a way to serve Waco, etc. along the I-35 corridor, but I suspect that San Antonio/Austin/College Station would be more than sufficient to support the line in question.
 

me_little_me

Conductor
Joined
Jul 16, 2010
Messages
2,970
Houston to Dallas at a zillion miles an hour. Dallas to El Paso at 12mph.
Maybe such a transfer would compel Texans to pressure their U.S. Congresspersons to fund improvements to the TE route.
More likely a re-evaluation of the Texas Triangle route, which would make total sense.
The more likely scenario will be if Dallas-Houston is successful, then Houston-San Antonio and Dallas-San Antonio will be next on their expansion list.
Long after I'm dead.
 

AlamoWye

Train Attendant
Joined
Jun 4, 2015
Messages
48
So it seems like this Amtrak agreement with Texas Central was put out this early so that Texas Central can operate under federal rules of the STB instead. The STB had ruled a couple of years ago that since Texas Central was only intrastate that it was subject to Texas' rules and not under STB jurisdiction. By being under federal rules it "might" make it easier to get some of the recalcitrant counties less resistant because their complaints would have to be heard at the federal level, whereas previously State and local legislation were being passed to kill the route.

But who knows in these days where the federal government is changing so dramatically with its oversight.
 
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Rover

OBS Chief
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May 13, 2015
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565
Channel 8 sent over a reporter to Japan to look into HS Bullet Trains. You'll have to Goggle it to find the report. Just wanted you to know.
 

cirdan

Conductor
Joined
Mar 30, 2011
Messages
2,371
I am hoping that the TC will have departures as late as 12:30am, so you could see a concert or sporting event, and still get back home, without having to book a room. I know there's the non-stop buses between Houston and Dallas, but I don't know the times.
I'm not sure about late night timings, but on the whole the Greyhound between Houston and Dallas is fine. Done it several times.

The Greyhound sttaion in Dallas is right in the middle, about a block from Union Station and also DART connected and within easy walking distance of several attractions.

In Hoston the Greyhound station is slightly more peripheral but at least reachable by METRO train.

So I guess that Texas Central adopting a similar concept has a precedent  :)
 

Anderson

Conductor
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Nov 16, 2010
Messages
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If they carbon-copy the Japanese model, operations would stop at about midnight (so last departure a bit before 2300) and restart at 0600 (first arrival around 0730).  Of course, it may well be determined that this can be "fudged" a bit on certain days.
 

neroden

Conductor
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
7,746
Looks like it's actually happening. Texas Central seems to think they actually have enough financing to build the thing.

(As of a year ago. https://www.virtualbx.com/industry-news/texas-central-partners-llc-secures-financing-for-bullet-train/ )

They are still awaiting environmental clearance (not a given), safety clearance (a given), and any wrenches which local governments or landowners might throw in the works (which could drive prices up and require more funding). Entire systems have gotten killed due to land acquisition problems or local government hostility.

Cross fingers...
 

Palmetto

Conductor
Joined
May 12, 2014
Messages
1,918
They have selected Mass Electric Kiewit to do the work on some of the infrastructure: catenary, signals, etc. Details as to exactly what are being worked on.
 

v v

Conductor
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Dec 4, 2012
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1,200
Many shovel-ready projects have been killed in the past. If and when a revenue train completes a run it will be exciting, but we're still a long way from that.
But at least there is hope.

I think the train proposed is the later version of the Taiwan train, and of the 6 types I've used so far it was the most exciting, there was a sense of speed. This may in part be down to the type and location of the track, or that it wasn't completely silent running?
 

cocojacoby

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
May 13, 2014
Messages
301
And they apparently are not as lazy as Amtrak's designers in forcing half of us to ride backwards at 160+ mph!
 

Devil's Advocate

Conductor
Joined
May 24, 2010
Messages
11,158
And they apparently are not as lazy as Amtrak's designers in forcing half of us to ride backwards at 160+ mph!
Amtrak said the choice to use unmovable hardware was a cost cutting move, and I have no problem with that decision so long as they discount backward facing seats so affected customers can share in the savings.
 
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jis

Conductor
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And they apparently are not as lazy as Amtrak's designers in forcing half of us to ride backwards at 160+ mph!
AFAIK Amtrak does not have any seat designers. The Amfleet cars that run with half the seats facing each way have seats that can turn. It is an operational decision to run them that way.

New cars, like the Brightline cars are the ones that have been ordered pretty much off the shelf with European seats and European layouts that have truly fixed seats. Amtrak has nothing to do with those. The states are basically buying them off the shelf as is. States apparently have no compunctions about such things since many of them already run many commuter trains with fixed seats. And Floridians so far seem to not be upset about the Brightline trains either.

The FRA got into the act by outlawing the flip over bench seats as were found on NJT, so NJT went for fixed seats in all their new orders. However, I do not believe the FRA order applies to swing around seats, but I could be wrong about that.

One thing good about the Brightline seats is that they do not have the "seat recline into the lap of the person behind" problem by design. I am not sure that it would be impossible to design seat pairs with this feature that are also capable of swinging around, but it will add considerable weight and possibly some complexity and maintenance headaches for the electrical connections that go with some of those seats.
 

peteypablo

Train Attendant
Joined
Jul 17, 2015
Messages
21
Both high speed brands in Italy, Trenitalia and Italo, have carriages where half of the seats are facing forwards and half backwards. I think they do this because there are so many stations where they pull in and back out (Napoli Centrale, Roma Termini, Firenze SMN, Milano Centrale), with virtually no distinction between front and back of the train. So, you're going backwards during one leg and forwards during the next. There's no way to know, when you buy the ticket, which way your seat will face during any part of the journey.
 

MARC Rider

Conductor
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
Messages
1,650
The Man is seat 61 says the following about forward-facing seats: (you'll have to scroll down to the section on how to reserve forward-facing seats.)

"I know from experience that American visitors in particular (if you'll forgive me for saying so) are obsessed with facing forwards. Europeans less so, as we are used to trains with half the seats facing one way, half the other, and we know that it's no big deal as trains run smoothly on rails - think cruise liner restaurant, where half the diners are going backwards at 18 knots without noticing!"

I think that if Americans want high speed rail, they're going to have to get used to the possibility of sitting facing backwards. :)
 

anumberone

Conductor
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Aug 8, 2015
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