Officials Push for High-Speed Rail in Brazos Valley

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The push is on at the local level to get high-speed rail running through the Brazos Valley.

Local leaders recently returned from trips to Europe where they saw high-speed rail systems in Spain and Germany.

They are hoping to bring high-speed rail to Texas as the state's major cities expand their passenger rail systems.

"The major population centers have recognized that they can't move people around on roads," Brazos Valley Council of Governments executive director Tom Wilkinson said. "We're already investing in those type of things. This is just the next step.

The so-called "Texas T-Bone" would run south from Dallas to San Antonio, and east from Killeen through Bryan-College Station to Houston.

Positioning the line in Killeen is a strategic move aimed at moving troops from nearby Fort Hood an easier task.

The estimated $20 billion effort is still a long way from reality, however.

Exactly how the money will be raised and who will operate the line are still unanswered questions.

So far, a non-profit corporation, The Texas High Speed Rail and Transportation Corporation, has been established to explore options.

If the rail line becomes a reality, it would be the first-of-its-kind in the United States.

The trains in Europe reach cruising speeds of almost 200 mph. They are separated from pastureland by fences and placed above roads using grade separation.

Officials have set a goal of 2020 to have the line operational.

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