The Dallas to Houston high speed rail project is doomed

When I was a kid, I went to the store and asked the guy, Do you have any toy train schedules?
~Steven Wright

So after no more was heard about the San Antonio to Dallas via Austin high speed rail project, Someone apparently decided to spend a lot of money to propose a Dallas to Houston high speed rail project, which lacks the fundamental flaw of the previous project. Namely, Houston is a bigger and more important metropolitan area than San Antonio, or even San Antonio plus Austin (let’s face it, the old project was really Austin to Dallas, with an extra leg to just connect San Antonio because why not). This new project is so far underway that I actually received a little DEAR OWNER OR CURRENT RESIDENT card in the mail informing me of a public input meeting that I won’t be attending because I will be drinking beer in Terlingua and giving absolutely no fucks about anything, much less a doomed high speed rail project.

And why, exactly, is the project doomed? Well, for starters, we’ve got the same problem I discussed with the SA-D rail line. There’s a lack of good intra-city transport in Texas cities. There’s the sad beginnings of intra-city transport, but it’s not going to be the first thing most white and/or affluent people think about when they think of transportation. Sure, if this is built you can get to Houston from Dallas or vice versa and quickly. But unless you’re a salaryman moving only from one downtown to another, or willing to waste a lot of time with crappy “mass transit,” you’re hosed.

From looking at the maps, this high speed rail is not even remotely interested in stopping anywhere along the way. Sure, it might stop in Teague (if there was anything in Teague worth stopping for), and if one of the alternative routes is the Chosen One, a stop may appear outside of Bryan/College Station (only slightly more interesting than Teague), but more likely than not, this sucker is not stopping for anyone, Aggie or not.

If it were to make two stops along the way, let’s just say Teague and BCS, I could see salarymen moving their suburban asses to one of these towns and just taking the train to work. Most people who work in Houston commute from Fucking All Over anyway (some as far as Brenham and no, I am NOT joking). This way, they wouldn’t have to drive or fight traffic and they can have that wonderful small-town lifestyle where their children get bored and do meth and the cops don’t care because their own children are in on it.

But it doesn’t appear to be stopping nor does it appear to actually be taking the human equation into account at all, for all they’ll sell it as a people-mover. Like most of the high speed rail projects out there, this thing is meant to move cargo, not people.


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