Texas High-Speed Rail Projects Receive Additional Planning Funds


Federal government includes Fort Worth-to-Houston project in Corridor ID Program


Brian Wilson

Arlington, TEXAS – High-speed rail from Fort Worth to Houston took another step forward Friday when the federal government announced the project has been included in the Corridor Identification and Development Program.

Up to $1 million in additional planning funds will be provided for proposed high-speed rail service along the corridor, the Biden-Harris administration said.

The North Central Texas Council of Governments submitted the Fort Worth-to-Houston project (via Dallas), and Amtrak submitted a separate application for the Dallas-to-Houston line; both applications propose using the corridor that Texas Central received a Record of Decision on from the Federal Railroad Administration between Dallas and Houston. These were among seven high-speed rail projects nationwide awarded planning funding as part of the Corridor ID Program.

NCTCOG has been planning the North Texas line, which would run along Interstate Highway 30 from Fort Worth to Dallas, with a stop in Arlington, and connect to the Dallas-to-Houston project. Through the Dallas-Fort Worth High-Speed Transportation Connections Study, NCTCOG examined 43 potential alignments, with high-speed rail along the IH 30 emerging as the preferred method to connect people seamlessly from throughout the region to the planned Dallas-to-Houston route via a one-seat ride.

The DFW High-Speed Transportation Connections Study is set to move into a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis, focusing on route alignment, possible station locations and potential social and environmental impacts.

NCTCOG is working with the Federal Transit Administration on final steps before the Dallas-Fort Worth corridor can advance to the formal NEPA process.

In addition to the planning funds, inclusion in the Corridor ID Program is considered an acknowledgement of the need to advance project development and explore partnership opportunities as well as positioning the project for future federal funding to support design and construction.

The Corridor ID Program is intended to help guide intercity passenger rail development throughout the country and create a pipeline of passenger rail projects ready for implementation, according to the White House.  

About the North Central Texas Council of Governments:
NCTCOG is a voluntary association of local governments established in 1966 to assist local governments in planning for common needs, cooperating for mutual benefit and coordinating for sound regional development.

NCTCOG's purpose is to strengthen both the individual and collective power of local governments and to help them recognize regional opportunities, eliminate unnecessary duplication, and make joint decisions. NCTCOG serves a 16-county region of North Central Texas, which is centered in the two urban centers of Dallas and Fort Worth. Currently, NCTCOG has 229 member governments including 16 counties, 169 cities, 19 school districts and 27 special districts. For more information on the Transportation Department, visit www.nctcog.org/trans.

About the Regional Transportation Council:
The Regional Transportation Council (RTC) of the North Central Texas Council of Governments has served as the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for regional transportation planning in the Dallas-Fort Worth area since 1974. The MPO works in cooperation with the region’s transportation providers to address the complex transportation needs of the rapidly growing metropolitan area. The Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area includes Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Hood, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall, Tarrant and Wise counties. The RTC’s 45 members include local elected or appointed officials from the metropolitan area and representatives from each of the area’s transportation providers. More information can be found at www.nctcog.org.