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Texas high-speed train project accelerates with big financial boost

Texas high-speed train project accelerates with big financial boost

Houston high speed train rendering bluebonnets
Texas high-speed rail just got one step closer to becoming a reality. Rendering courtesy of Texas Central

Plans for a Texas high-speed train line between Dallas and Houston are still on the rails, thanks to help from a deep-pocketed international partner. Texas Central, the company behind the bullet train’s development, has announced that it has secured a loan of up to $300 million from a Japanese investment group.

The influx of cash comes courtesy of the Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corporation for Transport & Urban Development (JOIN) and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC).

The interest-bearing loan, along with the equity provided to date (the majority coming from Texas entrepreneurs) will provide enough funding for all activities required for the project to reach financial close, according to a statement.

With this injection of funds, Texas Central can move ahead on permitting, design, and engineering and to begin construction by 2019.

As CultureMap previously reported, Texas Central is partnering with Amtrak to allow passengers to use Amtrak's reservation system to buy tickets. Supporters of the high-speed train claim it will inject an estimated $36 billion in economic benefits statewide over the next 25 years, with 10,000 direct jobs per year created during construction and 1,500 permanent jobs created when operational.

However, there is an estimable anti-train contingent, as the proposed rail line cuts a line through 240 miles of Texas land — much of it private property. In Houston, for example, the the preferred site of the project's new passenger station is Northwest Mall, located at the interchange of Loop 610 and U.S. 290.