High Speed Rail Possibilites Discussed by B/CS in DC

A second day on Capitol Hill for the local Chamber of Commerce delegation gave leaders another chance to hit on the issues that matter most to the region. That includes transportation, and with roads congested and gasoline costly, there may be an option down the line, one you've probably heard before.

With rising gas prices showing no sign of stopping, it's a long talked about transportation issue that's back on the table for local leaders in Washington, and the congressional delegation seems to be talking about it as well.

High speed rail: it's one of those long rumored projects that never seems to pull into the station, but is the time coming for it?

"It's one way to move people around," said Brazos County Commissioner Kenny Mallard. "It's just one other piece to the puzzle to make it all work."

In the back halls and offices of the Capitol, chamber discussion has focused on transportation of all varieties, but commuter rail across the Texas Triangle is one hurdle still to be jumped.

"Finding existing rights of way where you don't disrupt rural area, I think, is really important," said Rep. Kevin Brady (R-District 8). "We've seen that with the Trans Texas Corridor, a lot of resistance to its plan."

Congressmen and senators alike seem to be for the idea.

"We think that's the answer to congestion on 290 and 45 and 59 for in and out of town," said John Happ, who heads up Easterwood Airport.

Kay Bailey Hutchison heard the calls, but says it's going to take railroad negotiations, state commitment and likely federal help, but it's a track locals need to get on, she says.

"I love the fact that between Dallas and Houston, we could stop in College Station, and it would mean such an easier time for our students and our former students to be able to come," Sen. Hutchison said.

"I hope the Chamber and the community doesn't give up on it," Brady added. "It may be a long term project, but it's worth pursuing."

The most talked about high speed rail plan is known as the Texas T-Bone, which would run from Dallas south to San Antonio, and from Fort Hood to Houston.

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