Texas company gets $300 million loan for high-speed rail project

A rendering of the high-speed train. (Texas Central Partners)
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(KWTX) Texas Central Partners has secured a $300 million loan from Japanese sources for a proposed high-speed rail system that will provide service from Dallas through Central Texas to Houston.

The Dallas Morning News reported that the company will use the funds to move forward with permitting, design and engineering.

Texas Central plans to use Japanese high-speed rail technology for the privately-funded project.

Work on the $15 billion system could begin as early as next year and the train could begin to run by 2024 or 2025.

The train, traveling at speeds of 240 miles per hour, would follow a route that skirts the eastern edge of Central Texas, passing through Navarro, Freestone, and Leon Counties, making the trip from Dallas to Houston in 90 minutes with one stop in Grimes County.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Federal Railroad Administration are both studying the project.

The Federal Railroad Administration released its draft environmental impact statement on the project in late January, saying the train would "alleviate the strain" on the state's existing infrastructure and "is needed to accommodate growing demand."

Texas Central estimates it will "pay nearly $2.5 billion in tax revenue to the state, counties, local municipalities, school, hospital and community college districts between now and 2040 as a result of the multi-billion dollar infrastructure investment."

Temple businessman Drayton McLane, Jr., was named chairman of the board of Texas Central Partners in December 2017.