The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), in cooperation with Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) will prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Central Texas High-Speed Rail Corridor.
The proposed corridor would connect Dallas and Houston with a dedicated High Speed Rail (HSR) system proposed by a private company, Texas Central Railway (TCR).
As part of the EIS, the environmental and socail impacts of various alternative HSR route alignments will be analyzed including shared corridors with an existing rail line and along electric utility lines. The TCR’s proposed high speed line would operate on a dedicated right-of-way and would not share track or infrastructure with existing trains or rail lines. In addition, the EIS will analyze the potential impacts of stations, power or fueling stations, and maintenance facilities to support HSR operations.
FRA published a Notice of Intent to prepare an EIS on June 25, 2014. Twelve public scoping meetings were held in November and December. The scoping period ended on January 9, 2015.
The Texas Department of Transportation is providing technical assitance to FRA in carrying out the NEPA process for the project and has information on their website: http://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/division/rail.html
More information on the train system is available at TCR’s website: http://www.texascentral.com/
Using comments and information received during the scoping process, the initial alternative corridors will be reviewed and refined to develop the alternatives HSR route alignments to be evaluated in detail in the Draft EIS. The Draft EIS will also include evaluation of a No Build Alternative.
Following refinement of the alternatives, technical studies will be conducted and the Draft EIS will be prepared. The Draft EIS is anticipated to be available for public review in late 2015.