Imagine traveling between Houston and Dallas in a 240-mile bullet train for a 90 minute ride. Sounds like something from Tomorrowland. Bullet trains are common in Europe and Japan, and they make an impressive sight as they zip along an elevated track.
But are they right for Texas? The cost is atrocious at $12 billion. Oh sure, the promoters say taxpayers won't have to pay it. See How to pay for a $12 billion bullet train without asking Texas for money.
But assuming they can get investors and lenders to shell out the money for laying rails and buying trains, it's hard to believe they won't be looking for a government handout to make up the difference between their revenue and their debt obligations.
Then there are the property rights issues. That problem is going to be big enough if/when The Great Wall comes to Texas. But here one would have to expect property owners to give up their land, one way or the other, for the railway. For a discussion of that issue, see 'Come and take it': Eminent domain dispute at heart of bullet train battles.
At one time Southwest Airlines had a cheap flight between the two cities. If there are $12 billion burning holes in investors' pockets, maybe it's time for a Puddle Jumper Airlines to swoop in and carry passengers around Texas. Or better yet, an autonomous round trip car rental. Tomorrowland, baby!
2:10 PM 2/24/2017