If you could hop on a high-speed train instead of navigating an airport, would you? I know I would, and I think I'd be surrounded by many other passengers here in Texas.

There has been plenty of talk, and even some action, on a high-speed rail connecting Dallas to Houston, with a stop serving Texas A&M University. High-speed railways cross countries in Europe and Asia but are sparse here in the States.

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Strange, considering the vast "in-between" spaces our country still has. This is particularly true for Texas, where you can travel for hours and see more cows than people, depending on your route.

The reality of the high-speed rail was very close to fruition, until 2022, when the board of directors for Texas Central disbanded. There had been many obstacles, including a ballooning budget and eminent domain lawsuits (which the railway won, after all).

Now the primary obstacle appears to be the Texas government, as laws have been passed preventing the allocation of funds to private rail systems. However, a new hope recently surfaced- Amtrack joined the project in August 2023. Amtrack is majority-owned by the federal government. However, Texas law also requires that nearly all of its transportation funds go to roads, not rails:

 A state constitutional amendment requires that 97% of Texas’s transportation budget go to road projects.

It makes you wonder who lobbied for that legislation. However, I, like many other Texans, will cling to any glimmer of hope that high-speed rail could become a reality in a state that at its furthest points would require 11 hours of nonstop driving to traverse.

I'm grateful for our wide open spaces, but I'd still like the option to visit more of our state without relying on a car or an airplane to get me there. My hope is not only that the Dallas/ Houston route be built, but that even more railways could exist, connecting all of Texas with the speed and convenience of railways- the infrastructure that was largely responsible for our growth as a state in the 19th century.

How beautiful would it be to not only connect from city to city, but from our past to our future?

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