I wish them the very best of luck with this.
San Antonio officials will continue to pursue a passenger rail line that one day could connect the Alamo City to Austin, a transit project that’s already been in the works for more than a decade.
The city’s endorsement Wednesday of the Lone Star Rail District initiative came on the heels of the Obama administration’s announcement that it will support a $53 billion high-speed rail initiative over the next five years, the most money committed to rail in over a generation, emphasized Tullos Wells, vice chairman of the district board, an entity that includes cities, counties and transit authorities along the 120-mile corridor.
“This is a time to make this project sail,” Wells said.
But it likely will be several years of planning and negotiations — including relocating an existing Union Pacific Railroad freight line at a cost of $1.7 billion — before anyone will be able to ride on the proposed rail line, called LSTAR.
And as we know, the state of Texas is not exactly in a strong position when it comes to planning and executing this sort of project. I blogged about LSTAR in November of 2009, and it’s not clear to me they’re any closer to running trains now than they were then when they were aiming for 2012 or 2013 as a start date. Still, I really hope they succeed. It makes all kinds of sense for this corridor to have a rail line, I-35 is horribly congested, and this could serve as a cornerstone to a future high speed rail network for Texas.