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Re: DALLAS to HOUSTON High Speed Rail

Posted: 12 Sep 2018 14:56
by cowboyeagle05
Iconic in this case could just be that we actually get a bullet train.

Re: DALLAS to HOUSTON High Speed Rail

Posted: 13 Sep 2018 06:05
by ContriveDallasite
muncien wrote:
tamtagon wrote:...just for fun:

There's your connection to Fort Worth! Amtrak & TRE, no problem.


Almost makes you question the need for Amtrak to even stop at Union Station anymore... :?:


The HSR should very clearly replace Union Station.

Re: DALLAS to HOUSTON High Speed Rail

Posted: 13 Sep 2018 08:32
by cowboyeagle05
I believe the addiction to the freeway and the personal car already did replace Union Station...

Re: DALLAS to HOUSTON High Speed Rail

Posted: 13 Sep 2018 08:49
by tamtagon
I wonder how the partner discussions/negotiations played out between Texas Central and Hunt Inc and Matthews Southwest. Hunt had the prime rail connectivity of Union Station and plenty of developable land, Matthews had more land and a cleaner slate for development.

If/when HSR is confirmed and a station construction schedule starts webbing into the surrounding area, we'll begin to see exactly what roll Union Station will play. The Convention Center will have to sponsor/participate in a major TOD mixed use renovation reconfiguring the 'backside' into a frontside and moving the light rail station.

Re: DALLAS to HOUSTON High Speed Rail

Posted: 13 Sep 2018 09:11
by whit5125
Ugh dont even joke about any expansion of that ugly and money sucking behemoth of a convention center that has killed about a quarter of downtown. The original portions of that thing next to city Hall absolutely should be torn down and developed into something else.

It just kills the potential of that area and if even part of it could be torn down (the parts that are not needed and really even used), plus the HSR station and the addition of a possible deck park, the ugly unused parking lots surrounding it would make an absolute killer area to develop.

God if the Deck park, HSR and the Smart District were to happen the undeveloped land around the convention center plus the under developed areas of the Cedars would absolutely explode over night.

Re: DALLAS to HOUSTON High Speed Rail

Posted: 13 Sep 2018 09:33
by tamtagon
It is a be behemoth; calculating it's ROI is dubious; and late 20th Century hubris flattened virtually all adjacent neighborhood, no doubt. But, The CC allows bigger and biggest hotels to exist. Large scale programs and facilities municipally operated or managed or overseen (like Conv Ctr and Fair Park) do not have the flexibility and nimbleness necessary to truly thrive, and there's politics that muck-up clear sightedness as well. Old Century Legacy management of the convention center can and should be replaced.

The train to Houston will pair with the Convention Center to allow a much more fertile hotel setting than either as a stand alone (ish) would, and the opportunity to develop touristy retail and nightlife venue clusters is even more promising.

Throw in another major tourist experience like the world's biggest Observation Ferris Wheel, and the whole deal spins upward.

Re: DALLAS to HOUSTON High Speed Rail

Posted: 13 Sep 2018 10:54
by Tivo_Kenevil
Slightly off topic. But what happened to CityMAP?

That plan of rerouting i-30 would be tremendous for the city of Dallas. Particularly for this area.

Re: DALLAS to HOUSTON High Speed Rail

Posted: 14 Sep 2018 08:54
by muncien
Tivo_Kenevil wrote:Slightly off topic. But what happened to CityMAP?

That plan of rerouting i-30 would be tremendous for the city of Dallas. Particularly for this area.


I'd take the trench/deckpark over the reroute any day. I really hate how much nature that reroute plan would gobble up. It would be quite depressing...

Re: DALLAS to HOUSTON High Speed Rail

Posted: 16 Sep 2018 12:26
by Tnexster
Texas Central secures loan of up to $300 million for Bullet Train

https://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/news ... llion.html

The Texas Bullet Train has inched closer to the goal of becoming a reality with the securing of a loan of up to $300 million.

Texas Central, the company implementing the high-speed train between Houston and North Texas, announced Thursday that it has secured the loan from the Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corp. for Transport & Urban Development, or JOIN, and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation.

Texas Central will use the funds to move ahead on permitting, design and engineering, as well as other preliminary work needed to launch construction during 2019.

The interest-bearing loan along with the equity provided to date – mostly coming from Texas entrepreneurs – will provide enough funding for all activities required for the project to reach financial close, Texas Central said in a news release.

Re: DALLAS to HOUSTON High Speed Rail

Posted: 18 Sep 2018 21:08
by Tnexster
Rival of Texas bullet-train company blasts Japanese investment, says high-speed rail's private funding plan is 'just a dream'

https://www.dallasnews.com/news/transpo ... just-dream

Re: DALLAS to HOUSTON High Speed Rail

Posted: 19 Sep 2018 10:17
by The_Overdog
That article is enlightening and bizarre. When they say 'rival' in the headline, they actually mean rival in the sense that they are also trying to build a high speed rail line in Texas, not the usual sense where the rival is the detractors.

Where did a 'rival' come from? Did I miss something?

Re: DALLAS to HOUSTON High Speed Rail

Posted: 19 Sep 2018 10:42
by cowboyeagle05
I think you are overthinking headline writers. Most people will read the headline exactly as inferred in the article that the competing company is a rival because they too want to build a high-speed connection across the state.

Re: DALLAS to HOUSTON High Speed Rail

Posted: 19 Sep 2018 11:32
by tamtagon
At this stage of the game, the technology deal is really the only thing about Texas Central I've had concerned. IIRC, most/all the other HSR service providers are interchangeable and/or compatible (French, Chinese etc), but the Japanese is not. The presumption all along has bee that the Triangle and/or T will eventually connect DFW-Houston-SanAustintonio, so the Japanese route could end up being by itself or whatever.

I didn't read the article, because it's weird timing and seems kinda like an incendiary repeat of stuff that's been known since Texas Triangle passenger rail service entered the realm of possibilities. If we're going to have another option from the other guys, then lets have an actual proposal. If all the other guys are trying to do is hinder the Japanese HSR technology from a new market, then I think they should step off the station.

Re: DALLAS to HOUSTON High Speed Rail

Posted: 19 Sep 2018 11:48
by The_Overdog
I think you are overthinking headline writers.

You are probably right, but I had no idea there was a 'rival' to Texas Central, legitimate or otherwise.

Re: DALLAS to HOUSTON High Speed Rail

Posted: 19 Sep 2018 12:18
by TNWE
tamtagon wrote:At this stage of the game, the technology deal is really the only thing about Texas Central I've had concerned. IIRC, most/all the other HSR service providers are interchangeable and/or compatible (French, Chinese etc), but the Japanese is not. The presumption all along has bee that the Triangle and/or T will eventually connect DFW-Houston-SanAustintonio, so the Japanese route could end up being by itself or whatever.


The Chinese technology is only interchangeable because they stole theirs from the Europeans :lol:

I don't think it's too big a deal if Dallas-Houston is built and operated using Shinkansen trains while the other legs of an eventual triangle/T-bone use TGV/ICE/CRH trains, because there's no practical case for through operation- there's no reason to go from San Antonio to Houston via Dallas, nor is there a case for having the Texas central line run trains over other operator's track to hypothetical cities further afield like LA or Chicago. Over those distances, the advantage over planes disappears.

It was clear from the beginning that JR's play was to get a foothold in the US by privately funding the Dallas-Houston line and making it independently profitable, and getting the economies of scale/first mover advantage that would help them win competitive bids for future publically-funded HSR opportunities. SNCF seems to think that because they can't make a larger, non-HSR network work without public funds, no one should be allowed to try.

Re: DALLAS to HOUSTON High Speed Rail

Posted: 08 Oct 2018 14:58
by lakewoodhobo
City Hall received an update on HSR today that you can read here:

https://dallascityhall.com/government/C ... 100818.pdf

Most interesting to me is a request for a feasibility study into building a new multi-modal facility on the city-owned Lot E between I-30 and the Convention Center.

Screen Shot 2018-10-08 at 2.55.19 PM.jpg

Re: DALLAS to HOUSTON High Speed Rail

Posted: 08 Oct 2018 15:14
by Tivo_Kenevil
Nice deck park.

Re: DALLAS to HOUSTON High Speed Rail

Posted: 08 Oct 2018 15:23
by whit5125
If even half of that got built, with the deck park and the surrounding plans, plus the apparant developments at the Texas Odyssey Sit, and should the Dallas Smart District actually get built, that would utterly transform Dallas.

Imagine this and the Trinity River Park actually getting off of the ground...we wouldnt recognize Downtown in 20 years.

Re: DALLAS to HOUSTON High Speed Rail

Posted: 08 Oct 2018 15:43
by Matt777
This. Would change. Everything.

My only hope is that this is feasible and not some pie in the sky proposal. It would require massive amounts of new infrastructure and a relocation of Amtrak/TRE/DART to the convention center, replacing Union Station. It is better resolved this way. I wonder if the DART tracks could be relocated altogether to run directly adjacent to the HSR Station, then spur off towards Arnold street then Mckee street to meet the original tracks (a couple lowrise warehouses would have to go).

Also, I hope that the new buildings are bigger than what is rendered here. This transit hub could use some well designed highrises to really create something spectacular.

Re: DALLAS to HOUSTON High Speed Rail

Posted: 08 Oct 2018 16:30
by DPatel304
Wow, this looks incredible. I'm skeptical this will all come to fruition, but I'm very glad to see they have the right idea and are attempting something big.

Re: DALLAS to HOUSTON High Speed Rail

Posted: 08 Oct 2018 16:33
by Tnexster
I just received that presentation this afternoon, saw that pic and had to look real close. At first I wasn't sure what city it was until I looked closer. That's pretty cool but also very ambitious.

Re: DALLAS to HOUSTON High Speed Rail

Posted: 08 Oct 2018 17:53
by tamtagon
tamtagon wrote:If/when HSR is confirmed and a station construction schedule starts webbing into the surrounding area, we'll begin to see exactly what roll Union Station will play. The Convention Center will have to sponsor/participate in a major TOD mixed use renovation reconfiguring the 'backside' into a frontside and moving the light rail station.


Tnexster wrote:
I just received that presentation this afternoon, saw that pic and had to look real close. At first I wasn't sure what city it was until I looked closer. That's pretty cool but also very ambitious.


If the HSR actually gets built, the scale of the development shown in that presentation may be on small side.

Re: DALLAS to HOUSTON High Speed Rail

Posted: 08 Oct 2018 19:07
by lakewoodhobo
Tivo_Kenevil wrote:Nice deck park.


I was watching the City Hall video feed for part of the presentation and when they showed the deck park, Sandy Greyson asked if that was a realistic proposal or just a concept, and was told that this was "dreaming", i.e. just a vision for something that could happen.

CM Greyson also said something to the effect of having heard that the deck park on I-30 would start further east of what is shown there. I'm assuming she meant between S. Akard and S. Ervay rather than Lamar and Akard.

Cedars deck park locations.jpg

Re: DALLAS to HOUSTON High Speed Rail

Posted: 09 Oct 2018 09:41
by Hannibal Lecter
So much for "no tax dollars".

Re: DALLAS to HOUSTON High Speed Rail

Posted: 09 Oct 2018 11:12
by TNWE
Hannibal Lecter wrote:So much for "no tax dollars".


The City of Dallas using Tax dollars to invest in developments at the TCR endpoint that improve connectivity with existing transit modes, enhance the vibrancy of the area, etc is very different than taxpayer funding of the actual HSR line itself. TCR was always going to develop the station itself, but the surrounding area, transit connections, etc are outside their purview. Turning Lot E into a transit hub makes a lot of sense, but it's not something TCR could "make happen" on their own.

This is a perfect example of "good government"- the city stepping in to be a sort of project manager that sets a master plan for the area and invests tax money as appropriate to complement private investment.

Re: DALLAS to HOUSTON High Speed Rail

Posted: 09 Oct 2018 12:06
by muncien
Glad to at least see a 'plan' for connecting the station to the core of the city. I realize it's mostly pipe dreams, but up until now all we had was speculation. I suppose 'dreams' are better than 'speculation'. lol

But this looks very impressive. And as for the deck park... YES, deck that entire thing. Do it right the first time.

Re: DALLAS to HOUSTON High Speed Rail

Posted: 09 Oct 2018 13:19
by Tivo_Kenevil
The deck park should be extended further out. All the way past Old City Park.

Re: DALLAS to HOUSTON High Speed Rail

Posted: 09 Oct 2018 15:29
by lakewoodhobo
I'm betting there's a bit of an unspoken concern about the deck park connecting to St. Paul, where it would face the new entrance of The Bridge.

I'm all about designing the park for the next 100 years and hoping we'll solve the homeless problem well before then, but I think this is the big elephant in the room right now.

Re: DALLAS to HOUSTON High Speed Rail

Posted: 09 Oct 2018 15:54
by Tivo_Kenevil
lakewoodhobo wrote:I'm betting there's a bit of an unspoken concern about the deck park connecting to St. Paul, where it would face the new entrance of The Bridge.

I'm all about designing the park for the next 100 years and hoping we'll solve the homeless problem well before then, but I think this is the big elephant in the room right now.


You honestly think the Bridge will still operate when Smart City and more residential projects go up? Ha .. I don't think so.

The bridge has a good cause; but they started when that part of town was forsaken.

The stakeholders will pressure them and eventually kick'em out or force them to move once they're ready to develop that area.

Let's not pretend that people would love to see the homeless who gather there go away. Not trying to sound apathetic; it's just the truth.

Ending homelessness is improbable; getting the Bridge to move ...Definitely will happen.

Re: DALLAS to HOUSTON High Speed Rail

Posted: 09 Oct 2018 21:06
by Tnexster
tamtagon wrote:
tamtagon wrote:If/when HSR is confirmed and a station construction schedule starts webbing into the surrounding area, we'll begin to see exactly what roll Union Station will play. The Convention Center will have to sponsor/participate in a major TOD mixed use renovation reconfiguring the 'backside' into a frontside and moving the light rail station.


Tnexster wrote:
I just received that presentation this afternoon, saw that pic and had to look real close. At first I wasn't sure what city it was until I looked closer. That's pretty cool but also very ambitious.


If the HSR actually gets built, the scale of the development shown in that presentation may be on small side.


Learned something new about this project this week. The project manager for London's Crossrail project will or rather is the project manager for this project. He started October 1st.

Re: DALLAS to HOUSTON High Speed Rail

Posted: 10 Oct 2018 12:32
by lakewoodhobo
Tnexster wrote:Learned something new about this project this week. The project manager for London's Crossrail project will or rather is the project manager for this project. He started October 1st.


I also like that they referenced King's Cross station in London as an example of what ours could look like. We may never get a station quite as integrated into the neighborhood as that one, but the lobby and shops themselves are great.

Re: DALLAS to HOUSTON High Speed Rail

Posted: 10 Oct 2018 15:09
by Tnexster
Texas Bullet Train developer names new operating partner

https://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/news ... ating.html

Re: DALLAS to HOUSTON High Speed Rail

Posted: 10 Oct 2018 16:33
by lakewoodhobo
Tnexster wrote:Texas Bullet Train developer names new operating partner

https://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/news ... ating.html


I still get promotional emails from Renfe from the time I took HSR from Madrid to Barcelona. Nice to see them join Texas Central.

Re: DALLAS to HOUSTON High Speed Rail

Posted: 11 Oct 2018 10:28
by Tivo_Kenevil
I've utilized Renfe before; great transport company. This project just got more serious.

Re: DALLAS to HOUSTON High Speed Rail

Posted: 12 Oct 2018 11:07
by Tnexster
Dallas-Houston route called ‘world’s best place to deploy high-speed rail’ without subsidies

https://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/news ... ce-to.html

A Spanish rail operator and an Italian engineering contractor have recently partnered with developer Texas Central to build a bullet train between Dallas and Houston.

The Spanish company, Renfe, brings more than 25 years of experience in operating high-speed trains in Europe and other countries. Renfe operates 5,000 trains daily on 7,500 miles of track, from local commuter routes to high-speed national and international travel. It handled more than 487 million passengers and moved 19.6 million tons of freight in 2017.

Texas Central also has engaged the multinational firm Salini Impregilo – operating in the U.S. market with The Lane Construction Corp. – to lead the civil construction consortium that will build the passenger line.

Re: DALLAS to HOUSTON High Speed Rail

Posted: 12 Oct 2018 11:41
by tamtagon
It's hard for me to think about the Dallas to Houston trains without including the rest of the triangle, so....

I'm okay with a state funding contribution to get San Antonio and Austin hooked-up. Neither probably has the traffic potential yet, and are too far apart (distance and existence) for a combined station, so the state could front the money to help weave the route connecting the two downtown's, and the state can pick-up the cost to put a station in Temple/Fort Hood, Waco maybe. The Laredo station is a real wildcard in my mind, but Monterrey is a given.

Get the I-35 and I-10 corridors rail in place before it fills up even more.

Re: DALLAS to HOUSTON High Speed Rail

Posted: 12 Oct 2018 12:00
by electricron
tamtagon wrote:It's hard for me to think about the Dallas to Houston trains without including the rest of the triangle, so....

I'm okay with a state funding contribution to get San Antonio and Austin hooked-up. Neither probably has the traffic potential yet, and are too far apart (distance and existence) for a combined station, so the state could front the money to help weave the route connecting the two downtown's, and the state can pick-up the cost to put a station in Temple/Fort Hood, Waco maybe. The Laredo station is a real wildcard in my mind, but Monterrey is a given.

Get the I-35 and I-10 corridors rail in place before it fills up even more.


The State of Texas is not going to subsidize a HSR train anywhere. If Brightline can build a higher speed train in Florida, and possibly in California as well, Texas will expect private enterprise to do so here too.

And by the way, the I-10 and I-35 corridors are already full in many places with pavement, without room for rails. There will be better corridors to follow which should be cheaper to build.

Re: DALLAS to HOUSTON High Speed Rail

Posted: 12 Oct 2018 12:53
by longhorn
tamtagon wrote:It's hard for me to think about the Dallas to Houston trains without including the rest of the triangle, so....

I'm okay with a state funding contribution to get San Antonio and Austin hooked-up. Neither probably has the traffic potential yet, and are too far apart (distance and existence) for a combined station, so the state could front the money to help weave the route connecting the two downtown's, and the state can pick-up the cost to put a station in Temple/Fort Hood, Waco maybe. The Laredo station is a real wildcard in my mind, but Monterrey is a given.

Get the I-35 and I-10 corridors rail in place before it fills up even more.


When the politicians see how popular the route is, they will be tripping over themselves to build at least the SAT-DAL part of the triangle.

Re: DALLAS to HOUSTON High Speed Rail

Posted: 12 Oct 2018 13:06
by The_Overdog
When the politicians see how popular the route is, they will be tripping over themselves to build at least the SAT-DAL part of the triangle.


Right. The maps that the state has provided for 2040 include lots of other potential raillines that are most likely state/federally funded. The group building the Dallas/Houston line hasn't mentioned any of the others that I've heard of.

Re: DALLAS to HOUSTON High Speed Rail

Posted: 12 Oct 2018 16:51
by Tnexster
The_Overdog wrote:
When the politicians see how popular the route is, they will be tripping over themselves to build at least the SAT-DAL part of the triangle.


Right. The maps that the state has provided for 2040 include lots of other potential raillines that are most likely state/federally funded. The group building the Dallas/Houston line hasn't mentioned any of the others that I've heard of.


They have, just not publicly. They need to prove this works first, then look out.

Re: DALLAS to HOUSTON High Speed Rail

Posted: 13 Oct 2018 02:22
by electricron
While the state has studied expanding intercity passenger rail service in Texas, it has yet to commit any funding for them. In fact, in just the last session the Texas Legislature passed laws prohibiting TXDOT funding HSR.
Per https://www.expressnews.com/news/local/ ... 202560.php
"One of the two measures that will become law, Senate Bill 975, outlines minimum security requirements for the construction and operation of the privately funded proposed HSR line. The other, SB 977, prohibits the state from spending money to build or operate a high-speed rail line in Texas."

Re: DALLAS to HOUSTON High Speed Rail

Posted: 16 Oct 2018 09:12
by muncien
electricron wrote:While the state has studied expanding intercity passenger rail service in Texas, it has yet to commit any funding for them. In fact, in just the last session the Texas Legislature passed laws prohibiting TXDOT funding HSR.
Per https://www.expressnews.com/news/local/ ... 202560.php
"One of the two measures that will become law, Senate Bill 975, outlines minimum security requirements for the construction and operation of the privately funded proposed HSR line. The other, SB 977, prohibits the state from spending money to build or operate a high-speed rail line in Texas."


What a couple of stupid laws... Question... Can we make highways meet 'minimum security requirements'? 3,000 fatalities per year in Texas alone...

Re: DALLAS to HOUSTON High Speed Rail

Posted: 16 Oct 2018 09:38
by cowboyeagle05
Those laws went in as a reaction to unruly fear. They can be quietly removed just as easily. Politicians can just as easily take donations from Super PAC's to remove those laws. I still remember when the all the new Tollways were a Republican party supported idea because they were painted as "privatizing the freeways" which many voters applauded for getting highways off of the public dime. Now all of a sudden voters/politicians have decided to translate it as taxing the public through tolls. It's amazing how quickly the talking points can change depending on which way the PAC money is flowing.

Re: DALLAS to HOUSTON High Speed Rail

Posted: 16 Oct 2018 09:50
by The_Overdog
Right. Laws impacting the publicly funded lines are barely even worth talking about/passing until the initial line has been proven.

Re: DALLAS to HOUSTON High Speed Rail

Posted: 16 Oct 2018 10:45
by Tucy
muncien wrote:
electricron wrote:While the state has studied expanding intercity passenger rail service in Texas, it has yet to commit any funding for them. In fact, in just the last session the Texas Legislature passed laws prohibiting TXDOT funding HSR.
Per https://www.expressnews.com/news/local/ ... 202560.php
"One of the two measures that will become law, Senate Bill 975, outlines minimum security requirements for the construction and operation of the privately funded proposed HSR line. The other, SB 977, prohibits the state from spending money to build or operate a high-speed rail line in Texas."


What a couple of stupid laws... Question... Can we make highways meet 'minimum security requirements'? 3,000 fatalities per year in Texas alone...


One can disagree with the public policy of SB977 (but just calling it stupid does not really make the policy case).

As to SB975, what is objectionable about requiring the railroad to (1) in the manner required by law for intercity passenger railroads, implement all security requirements of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) or its successor agency; (2) conduct periodic risk-based threat and vulnerability assessments; and (3) in consultation with TSA, implement certain appropriate security measures in response to results of the assessments,etc?

Re: DALLAS to HOUSTON High Speed Rail

Posted: 16 Oct 2018 11:24
by muncien
Tucy wrote:
muncien wrote:
electricron wrote:While the state has studied expanding intercity passenger rail service in Texas, it has yet to commit any funding for them. In fact, in just the last session the Texas Legislature passed laws prohibiting TXDOT funding HSR.
Per https://www.expressnews.com/news/local/ ... 202560.php
"One of the two measures that will become law, Senate Bill 975, outlines minimum security requirements for the construction and operation of the privately funded proposed HSR line. The other, SB 977, prohibits the state from spending money to build or operate a high-speed rail line in Texas."


What a couple of stupid laws... Question... Can we make highways meet 'minimum security requirements'? 3,000 fatalities per year in Texas alone...


One can disagree with the public policy of SB977 (but just calling it stupid does not really make the policy case).

As to SB975, what is objectionable about requiring the railroad to (1) in the manner required by law for intercity passenger railroads, implement all security requirements of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) or its successor agency; (2) conduct periodic risk-based threat and vulnerability assessments; and (3) in consultation with TSA, implement certain appropriate security measures in response to results of the assessments,etc?


Well, the stupidity of SB977 is so obvious, I didn't think it needed to be pointed out. HSR is a proven transportation technology that has been used extensively, and is far safer than road travel. TXDOT is a TRANSPORTATION agency for the state... not a HIGHWAY agency. Having bureaucrats actively PROHIBIT a transit agency from using a safe/proven mode of transportation can hardly be described as anything other than 'stupid'.

SB975 sounds fantastic on the surface... Of course we want everything to be safe and secure. But forcing HSR to comply with something that other modes of transportation can't even come close to meeting is counterproductive. I'm not saying it shouldn't be safe... as I said in my original post, it should be the same for all. Imagine if 3000 Texans died every year in airplane crashes, or train accidents, as they do in the automobile.

Re: DALLAS to HOUSTON High Speed Rail

Posted: 16 Oct 2018 11:42
by Tucy
muncien wrote:
Tucy wrote:
muncien wrote:
What a couple of stupid laws... Question... Can we make highways meet 'minimum security requirements'? 3,000 fatalities per year in Texas alone...


One can disagree with the public policy of SB977 (but just calling it stupid does not really make the policy case).

As to SB975, what is objectionable about requiring the railroad to (1) in the manner required by law for intercity passenger railroads, implement all security requirements of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) or its successor agency; (2) conduct periodic risk-based threat and vulnerability assessments; and (3) in consultation with TSA, implement certain appropriate security measures in response to results of the assessments,etc?


Well, the stupidity of SB977 is so obvious, I didn't think it needed to be pointed out. HSR is a proven transportation technology that has been used extensively, and is far safer than road travel. TXDOT is a TRANSPORTATION agency for the state... not a HIGHWAY agency. Having bureaucrats actively PROHIBIT a transit agency from using a safe/proven mode of transportation can hardly be described as anything other than 'stupid'.

SB975 sounds fantastic on the surface... Of course we want everything to be safe and secure. But forcing HSR to comply with something that other modes of transportation can't even come close to meeting is counterproductive. I'm not saying it shouldn't be safe... as I said in my original post, it should be the same for all. Imagine if 3000 Texans died every year in airplane crashes, or train accidents, as they do in the automobile.


Maybe you should read the law. It does not purport to require absolute safety without fail, and it's primarily speaking about security (from terrorism, crime etc.), not safety from crashes and the like.

Re: DALLAS to HOUSTON High Speed Rail

Posted: 16 Oct 2018 12:52
by muncien
Tucy wrote:
muncien wrote:
Tucy wrote:
One can disagree with the public policy of SB977 (but just calling it stupid does not really make the policy case).

As to SB975, what is objectionable about requiring the railroad to (1) in the manner required by law for intercity passenger railroads, implement all security requirements of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) or its successor agency; (2) conduct periodic risk-based threat and vulnerability assessments; and (3) in consultation with TSA, implement certain appropriate security measures in response to results of the assessments,etc?


Well, the stupidity of SB977 is so obvious, I didn't think it needed to be pointed out. HSR is a proven transportation technology that has been used extensively, and is far safer than road travel. TXDOT is a TRANSPORTATION agency for the state... not a HIGHWAY agency. Having bureaucrats actively PROHIBIT a transit agency from using a safe/proven mode of transportation can hardly be described as anything other than 'stupid'.

SB975 sounds fantastic on the surface... Of course we want everything to be safe and secure. But forcing HSR to comply with something that other modes of transportation can't even come close to meeting is counterproductive. I'm not saying it shouldn't be safe... as I said in my original post, it should be the same for all. Imagine if 3000 Texans died every year in airplane crashes, or train accidents, as they do in the automobile.


Maybe you should read the law. It does not purport to require absolute safety without fail, and it's primarily speaking about security (from terrorism, crime etc.), not safety from crashes and the like.


Yes... Perhaps I should elaborate. My contention isn't with the contents of the bill itself, but more with the motivations behind it. Being that exactly zero people have ever been killed in Texas due to terrorist attacks on trains, 'safety' isn't exactly the bill author's motivation. This bill was submitted by representatives in areas that disagree with this project specifically (because it doesn't benefit them) in order to make life more difficult for those building it. Those who claim to oppose over regulation (I am one of them), cannot on the other hand impose regulation on something simply because they don't agree with it. It is hypocrisy at it's best...

If indeed these folks cared about the safety of Texas's as much as they profess to, they should put more focus on automobile safety. The fact that we as a country are 'okay' with the fact that every year we loose as many people automobile accidents as we did for the entire Korean war, is just maddening. We should be promoting safer alternative modes of transportation, not discouraging them.

Re: DALLAS to HOUSTON High Speed Rail

Posted: 16 Oct 2018 14:10
by Tucy
muncien wrote:
Tucy wrote:
muncien wrote:
Well, the stupidity of SB977 is so obvious, I didn't think it needed to be pointed out. HSR is a proven transportation technology that has been used extensively, and is far safer than road travel. TXDOT is a TRANSPORTATION agency for the state... not a HIGHWAY agency. Having bureaucrats actively PROHIBIT a transit agency from using a safe/proven mode of transportation can hardly be described as anything other than 'stupid'.

SB975 sounds fantastic on the surface... Of course we want everything to be safe and secure. But forcing HSR to comply with something that other modes of transportation can't even come close to meeting is counterproductive. I'm not saying it shouldn't be safe... as I said in my original post, it should be the same for all. Imagine if 3000 Texans died every year in airplane crashes, or train accidents, as they do in the automobile.


Maybe you should read the law. It does not purport to require absolute safety without fail, and it's primarily speaking about security (from terrorism, crime etc.), not safety from crashes and the like.


Yes... Perhaps I should elaborate. My contention isn't with the contents of the bill itself, but more with the motivations behind it. Being that exactly zero people have ever been killed in Texas due to terrorist attacks on trains, 'safety' isn't exactly the bill author's motivation. This bill was submitted by representatives in areas that disagree with this project specifically (because it doesn't benefit them) in order to make life more difficult for those building it. Those who claim to oppose over regulation (I am one of them), cannot on the other hand impose regulation on something simply because they don't agree with it. It is hypocrisy at it's best...

If indeed these folks cared about the safety of Texas's as much as they profess to, they should put more focus on automobile safety. The fact that we as a country are 'okay' with the fact that every year we loose as many people automobile accidents as we did for the entire Korean war, is just maddening. We should be promoting safer alternative modes of transportation, not discouraging them.


How do you know their motivations? And what about the motivations of all of the senators and representatives (including quite a few from areas the rail will benefit)?

The bill passed by wide margins in both the House and Senate (94-29 and 24-6, respectively)

Re: DALLAS to HOUSTON High Speed Rail

Posted: 16 Oct 2018 14:38
by muncien
Tucy wrote:
muncien wrote:
Tucy wrote:
Maybe you should read the law. It does not purport to require absolute safety without fail, and it's primarily speaking about security (from terrorism, crime etc.), not safety from crashes and the like.


Yes... Perhaps I should elaborate. My contention isn't with the contents of the bill itself, but more with the motivations behind it. Being that exactly zero people have ever been killed in Texas due to terrorist attacks on trains, 'safety' isn't exactly the bill author's motivation. This bill was submitted by representatives in areas that disagree with this project specifically (because it doesn't benefit them) in order to make life more difficult for those building it. Those who claim to oppose over regulation (I am one of them), cannot on the other hand impose regulation on something simply because they don't agree with it. It is hypocrisy at it's best...

If indeed these folks cared about the safety of Texas's as much as they profess to, they should put more focus on automobile safety. The fact that we as a country are 'okay' with the fact that every year we loose as many people automobile accidents as we did for the entire Korean war, is just maddening. We should be promoting safer alternative modes of transportation, not discouraging them.


How do you know their motivations? And what about the motivations of all of the senators and representatives (including quite a few from areas the rail will benefit)?

The bill passed by wide margins in both the House and Senate (94-29 and 24-6, respectively)


The bill AUTHOR himself couldn't talk about the bill without expressing his obvious opposition to the project in the same sentence...
Senator Brian Birdwell, SB 975 author: “While I maintain my steadfast opposition to the Dallas-to-Houston high-speed rail project―both for the landowners who will be harmed by it in the short term and for the Texas taxpayers who will likely be asked to subsidize it in the long term―I am proud of the legislature for passing my SB 975 to ensure the public safety and security of all those on and around any future high-speed rail line in Texas.”