A federally-funded study to determine the feasibility of passenger rail service between Oklahoma City and South Texas recently advanced to the next phase allowing for continued exploration of the proposed route. The $7 million Texas-Oklahoma Passenger Rail Study covers an 850-mile corridor broken into three segments going from Oklahoma City to Dallas-Fort Worth; Dallas-Fort Worth to San Antonio; and San Antonio to South Texas.
“The advancement of this study is a positive step forward,” said Texas Transportation Commissioner Jeff Austin III. “The study provides a foundation upon which the private sector, local stakeholders, and our federal partners can consider opportunities to work together to potentially advance this project. As the population of Texas continues to grow, we will continue to work with various partners to explore all opportunities to keep Texans moving. Options such as passenger rail service may be one way to keep up with growing demand.”
Following phases of public input and environmental considerations, the latest phase of the study determined passenger rail service up to 220 mph between Dallas-Fort Worth and San Antonio is feasible. It also determined passenger rail service from San Antonio through Laredo to Monterrey, Mexico could be feasible. The study also revealed the possibility of having passenger rail service up to 125 mph from San Antonio to the Rio Grande Valley and improved Amtrak-type service between Dallas-Fort Worth and Oklahoma City.
The next step would be a project-level environmental study to determine actual routes and environmental impacts of the service before construction and start of service. At this point, a private developer could step forward to determine future project possibilities.