USA: On October 10 high speed project promoter Texas Central announced that it had selected Spanish national operator RENFE and infrastructure manager ADIF as ‘strategic partners’ for the 386 km high speed line between Houston and Dallas. The Spanish partners were one of five bidders, Texas Central said.
‘RENFE is coming on board now as our operating partner to support early operational and pre-construction planning in collaboration with the design, build and technology teams’, a spokesman for Texas Central told Railway Gazette on October 11. ‘As with any large, complex project, contracts are done in stages, allowing flexibility for the project as it moves forward. At a later stage, Texas Central would enter into a longer-term operations and maintenance agreement.’
The two companies will initially provide ‘technical advice in design and construction and assist in the further development of operation and maintenance plans’. The operating partner will be responsible for train operations, rolling stock and infrastructure maintenance as well as overseeing ticketing, passenger loyalty programs and related services.
The planned route is being developed using Shinkansen technology based on that employed by Central Japan Railway. A 90 min end-to-end journey time is proposed, with stations planned in both cities and an intermediate stop in the Brazos Valley.
Texas Central is being developed by a consortium of private investors. It has been working with the federal authorities since 2014 to seek approval to develop the route.