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Texas drops hyperloop option for Dallas-Fort Worth choosing high-speed rail

Image: Pxhere

A hyperloop connection between Dallas and Fort Worth is no longer considered an option. The Regional Transport Council has chosen to focus only on high-speed rail for the corridor. Hyperloop will however also be advanced, but along a parallel path for future separate lines in the region.

The Regional Transportation Council (RTC) of North Central Texas approved a revision to its policy that excludes hyperloop from consideration and focuses solely on high-speed rail as part of its plans to develop the Interstate 30 rail corridor between Dallas and Fort Worth. The transport council, which serves as the policy-making body for the region and consists of local elected officials, voted in line with the staff recommendations in a meeting on 10 February.

According to Brendon Wheeler, principal transportation planner for the RTC, hyperloop technology still has some hurdles to clear to develop a standardised process. To not hold up the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process for this corridor, high-speed rail is chosen. However, the council sees opportunities for hyperloop in the region.

Interest for hyperloop facilities

Although it is no longer an option for the Dallas – Forth Worth corridor, hyperloop technology is not off the table for Texas. Hyperloop ‘might find a location in different parts of the region’, said Wheeler.

The North Central Texas transportation council has been involved with several hyperloop companies. Before hyperloop can be implemented and is ready for operation, it has to be proven by going through a safety certification and demonstration process. The project team says it has received interest from hyperloop companies to develop test or certification facilities within the region. The RTC previously proposed to have Virgin Hyperloop’s certification center built in the region, but this ended up in West-Virginia.

In April 2020, North Central Texas Council of Governments staff began work on the Dallas-Fort Worth High-Speed Transportation Connections Study with consultant assistance. The first phase, an alternatives analysis of high-speed modes and corridors, was concluded in August 2021. Meetings with government agencies will be held next to determine whether the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) or the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) will conduct the environmental analysis.

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Author: Esther Geerts

Editor RailTech.com

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