Kiewit, Mass Electric finalize Texas Central contract

May 5, 2021
The companies will be tasked with installing the core electrical systems as part of the $1.6-billion contract.

Kiewit Infrastructure South Co. (Kiewit) and affiliate Mass. Electric Construction Co. (Mass Electric) have been awarded a $1.6-billion contract to install the core electrical systems required for operation of Texas Central’s planned Dallas to Houston high-speed train.

Mass Electric signed an Early Contract Involvement agreement with Texas Central in 2019 to define the scope, execution plan, schedule and price for the core electrical system contract. The scope of work under the signed contract includes critical safety and systems elements such as traction power, signaling and communications equipment.

"Kiewit and Mass. Electric are national leaders in installing complex and large-scale electric systems and have long track records of delivering high-quality rail systems safely and effectively," said Carlos Aguilar, CEO of Texas Central Railroad. "Combining their experience with the safety of an integrated system is essential to the operation of the Texas Central Railroad. Signing this contract is the next step in making the Texas Central Railroad the first high-speed rail system to be implemented in the United States."

Texas Central explains the core systems to be installed are a key component of the N700S Shinkansen technology that will be deployed on the project. The high-speed rail provider says using a complete systems approach creates unparalleled safety performance with the trains, infrastructure and supporting high-speed rail technology designed and engineered to work together as an integrated unit.

"We commend Texas Central on their commitment to delivering the first high-speed rail system in the United States," said Mark Williams, Kiewit's project director at Mass. Electric. "Through their leadership and our extensive rail experience and expertise, we are well-equipped for success."

The Texas Central project will build a 240-mile high-speed rail line connecting Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth in about 90 minutes. The railroad aims to replicate the Japanese Tokaido Shinkansen high-speed rail system, as operated by the Central Japan Railway Company (JRC), based on its reputation as being one of the safest and most punctual train systems in the world.

The project is estimated to create 17,000 direct jobs during the six years of construction, over 20,000 supply chain jobs and more than 1,400 direct permanent jobs when the train is fully operational. Kiewit and Mass Electric say their companies will work closely with local trades across Texas including the craftsmen and women in the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.