Texas Shinkansen rail project moves forward

Texas Shinkansen rail project moves forward

A plan to build a high-speed rail line between Dallas and Houston using Shinkansen bullet train technology has moved forward as its developer has started begun to acquire land for the project.

JIJI

A partner real estate firm in July secured land in Dallas to build a station, Tim Keith, chief executive officer of the developer, Texas Central Partners, said in a recent interview.

The railway, construction of which is expected to start in 2017 for completion as early as 2021, is likely to become the first U.S. train service using Shinkansen technology. It will connect the two U.S. cities in about 90 minutes.

Central Japan Railway Co., or JR Tokai, has been pushing for its Shinkansen technology to be adopted in the project.

A final decision on which technology will be used has not yet been made.

“We are committed to Shinkansen,” said Keith. The Japanese technology has “an unparalleled track record” of safety, he said.

“If another train technology were chosen, we would start over,” he said. “This will be a Japanese Shinkansen project.”

The project is expected to cost $10 billion to $12 billion. Keith said his company plans to raise funding from sources such as overseas sovereign wealth funds and pension funds.

He also expressed hopes that the Japan Bank for International Cooperation will provide loans. The government lender has an interest in the project, he said.

Project website: http://www.texascentral.com/

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