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Public meetings coming for Texas Central Railway

Part of the process of getting the Houston-to-Dallas line built.

A proposed high-speed rail line between Dallas and Houston, already the subject of a federal environmental review, will soon be the focus of a series of public meetings in Texas, according to the president of the firm looking to build the line.

The Texas Department of Transportation will lead the six meetings next month in Dallas, Houston and other locations in between, Robert Eckels, the head of Texas Central Railway, said Saturday at The Texas Tribune Festival. Residents in the potentially affected regions will be invited to ask questions about the proposal. The meetings will be conducted as part of the federal environmental review.

“We’ll talk about alternative routes and the impact on the communities and let people actually see the route on the map,” Eckels said. “We’ll talk about what our vision is.”

Texas Central is attempting to build a multibillion-dollar direct line between Dallas and Houston that will transport travelers between Dallas and Houston in 90 minutes or less — without public subsidies. Eckels said Saturday that he expects the train to run daily every 30 minutes between 5 a.m. and 11 p.m.

“What we’re finding in most of these small towns is that they want this train to come through here,” Eckels said. “We’re not expecting” a controversy over this.

I wonder if that means they expect, or at least hope, that the train will make some stops in their towns. I don’t think that’s part of the plan, but who knows what the future might hold. It may be that they see benefits to them even without a station in their vicinity. Anyway, look for an announcement soon about a public meeting near you.

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