TX: Dallas-Fort Worth high speed train plan in peril after city council vote

June 14, 2024
The 30-mile high-speed rail project is being coordinated through the North Central Texas Council of Government and has been planned for years, although it recently has seen a surge of renewed interest.

Jun. 13—The dream of a high-speed rail connecting Fort Worth and Dallas could take longer than anticipated after the Dallas City Council put the breaks on the project until an economic impact study is completed.

Councilmembers passed a unanimous resolution on Wednesday halting the construction of any elevated passenger rail through the Central Business District in Dallas until the completion of an economic impact assessment, according to a report by Newsweek. The 30-mile high-speed rail project is being coordinated through the North Central Texas Council of Government and has been planned for years, although it recently has seen a surge of renewed interest.

The Dallas-Fort Worth project has been under scrutiny by city officials, and even developers like Hunt Realty who say that the elevated part of the route in downtown Dallas would disrupt plans to build a $5 billion development near the city's iconic Reunion Tower. The economic impact study, which would include environmental impact data, is scheduled to be completed in early 2025.

"My hope is that this resolution will send a clear message that the city of Dallas does not currently support the above-ground alignment that's been presented," said council member Jesse Moreno during the council meeting, per NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth's David Goins.

Omar Narvaez, another council member said during the same meeting that it's better to take things slow to get a better picture of the impact of the project.

"We can pause, tap the brakes, whatever you want to call it, and that's okay because we need to get this right. This is going to affect Dallas for the next 100 years, easily," Narvaez said, per Goins.

The proposed rail route would slice through the southwest corner of downtown Dallas, using elevated portions through certain areas, including the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center area, which will be built near the elevated tracks. Federal officials have already approved a high-speed elevated rail station in the Cedars neighborhood of South Dallas. In August, city officials presented a preliminary plan showing the rail line continuing south through the convention center and eventually reaching the Cedars station.

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