'Texas Is The Future': Texas Central CEO On Plans For Bullet Train Between Dallas, Houston
In this 2014 photo, a Shinkansen bullet train arrives at Tokyo Station in Tokyo. Japan launched its bullet train between Tokyo and Osaka more than 50 years ago.
SHIZUO KAMBAYASHI / ASSOCIATED PRESS
For those traveling from Dallas to Houston, high-speed rail could make the trip a lot faster. The proposed project by Texas Central would take passengers from one city to the other in just 90 minutes.
Carlos Aguilar, CEO of Texas Central, says Texas is the future of the U.S.
Aguilar's company is teaming up with Japanese engineers to bring the country's first bullet train to Texas.
Company officials say construction could start in late 2019 or early 2020. The bullet train is expected to be in service within the next five to six years.
Aguilar recently talked about his company's plans with Lee Cullum, host of the KERA-TV program "CEO."
Negotiating with landowners: Aguilar acknowledges that some rural landowners have concerns about losing their land. "Any project of this magnitude has impacts; we know that," he said. "Every project that I've worked on in my life has implications that we have to manage very carefully to ensure that stakeholders are listened to, and that we actually go and have conversations with landowners. ... And, by the way, we're having them. And the result of that is getting to agreement with them, and we have many, many options already signed with landowners along the route."
A positive economic impact: Aguilar says as people learn more about the bullet train, they'll understand its benefits. Workers will maintain the train line between Dallas and Houston. He says they'll be "working on the line, every night. So, that's jobs."
Using eminent domain: Aguilar says Texas Central plans to be careful when using eminent domain to acquire land.
How much will a ticket cost?: "It will be what we call 'dynamic pricing,'" he said. "They'll have fares for different types of needs. Business travelers will have a certain fare. It'll be less than [a plane ticket], that's really where we're trying to position it. But, of course, there'll be fares for families and students, and everybody else."
Why this particular route: The Federal Railway Administration has settled on a route — and Aguilar says 52 percent of the alignment is alongside existing infrastructure called the utility corridor. "That was the reason why it was chosen, and that's why it's been supported throughout the permit process," Aguilar said.