Dallas-based high-speed rail developer Texas Central has awarded a contract worth $5.9 billion to the Spanish firm Renfe to develop and operate its proposed high-speed rail service between Dallas and Houston, according to a report in Urban Transport News.
The proposed rail line could be operational by 2026 and would zip passengers between the two cities in roughly 90 minutes. There is an intermediate stop on the route in Brazos Valley.
The preliminary agreement between state-run Renfe and Texas Central for the design, construction, and running of the roughly 240-mile line details the financial aspects of the partnership. It reportedly is the largest-ever contract won by a Spanish state company outside of Spain.
Texas Central first announced Renfe as its operating partner in 2018. The Renfe contract breaks down as $311 million for design and construction and another $5.6 billion for operation and maintenance of the line from 2026 to 2042, Urban Transport News said.
The rail project is projected to generate $36 billion in economic benefits statewide over the next 25 years. It could also create 10,000 direct jobs per year during peak construction and 1,500 permanent jobs once it’s fully operational.
Texas Central last year signed a preconstruction contract with a Kiewit Corp. subsidiary, Mass. Electric Construction, that will work to define the scope, execution plan, schedule, and price for the construction contract.
Also last year, Texas Central signed a contract with the joint venture of the Italian firm Salini Impreglio and its U.S. subsidiary, Lane Construction Corp., which will be in charge of building the rail corridor infrastructure.
Texas Central released seating configurations
The news comes after Texas Central recently released details about seating configurations on its proposed trains. According to D CEO, the cars feature either two-seat doubles or a double and a single. Texas Central is customizing Central Japan Railway’s Shinkasen N700S trains.
Texas Central is an investor-led company that’s leading the development, construction, finance, and operations of the high-speed train system that is estimated to cost roughly $20 billion.
Last year, the high-speed rail system was honored as one of the top infrastructure projects in the world. It was also named one of the best by infrastructure advocacy group CG/LA in its 2019 Strategic 100 Global Infrastructure Report.
The project landed at No. 36 in the world, according to CG/LA’s list, and was the only Texas project listed. Nine U.S. projects were included, with Texas Central being one of three U.S. rail projects to make the report.
Nationally, the 200 mph rail line was also ranked as one of America’s most important projects last year.
Dallas Innovates has reached out to Texas Central for comment.
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