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USA: Dallas – Houston high speed railway project promoter Texas Central has signed a $16bn final agreement for the civil works including viaducts and depots with Webuild and its US subsidiary Lane Construction.

The agreement announced on June 15 follows four years of work by Webuild and Lane to bring the project to the advanced design stage. It is the final step ahead of financial close, which is expected in the coming months.

The contractor said the project would be ‘a pivotal moment for sustainable mobility’ in the USA, and a unique opportunity for the group and its suppliers. Around 17 000 direct and 20 000 indirect jobs are expected to be created during construction, with $7∙3bn of materials to be bought from US suppliers in 37 states and other services to be provided by specialist Italian companies.

The design of the 379 km high speed line suitable for 320 km/h operation is based on Central Japan Railway’s Tokaido Shinkansen. Trains would run every 30 min at peak times, with a single intermediate stop at Brazos Valley near Texas A&M University and an end-to-end journey time of under 90 min. Around 100 000 people travel between Dallas and Houston by car or air every week, and Texas Central hopes to be carrying 13 million people/year by 2050.