Spain’s Renfe Operadora and Central Texas reached this week an agreement to develop the first high-speed railway project in the United States, which once completed will link the Texas cities of Houston and Dallas / Fort Worth.
Renfe, a Spanish state-owned company, said that the high-speed train will travel the distance of 240 miles between Houston and Dallas / Fort Worth in less than 90 minutes.
Renfe said that the Central Texas private consortium could also consider expanding the high-speed line to the cities of Austin and San Antonio, with the consequent possibility of expanding collaboration between the two companies.
According to Renfe, the initial contract is worth around $6,000 billion dollars and will link Renfe with the world’s largest private equity rail operator, Central Texas, until 2042.
Renfe said its participation in the historic railway project in the US is in line with the strategic plan for international expansion developed by the company chaired by Isaías Táboas.
The company said that its Renfe of America team, a company established for the development of this and other projects in American territory, has been working since last year in the consulting phase. Precisely, Táboas met at the end of January in Houston with the heads of Central Texas to detail the progress of the project.
The Italian construction company Salini Impregilo will be in charge of building the infrastructure that it plans to have ready in six years, Renfe said. Once completed, Renfe will be responsible for its maintenance and for operating the trains between both Texas cities from 2026 to 2042.
In the design and construction phase (until 2026) the Spanish company will obtain 311 million dollars in infrastructure supervision and consulting, and during the years of operation and maintenance (between 2026 and 2042) the expected revenues amount to $5.611 billion dollars.
In addition to the Dallas / Fort Worth and Houston stations, the project forecasts having an intermediate station in Brazos Valley. All stations will be connected to the motorway network and public transport systems, and will have ample parking areas.
According to Central Texas, the high-speed line will generate economic benefits in the state of Texas that could reach $36 billion over the next 25 years, including the creation of 10,000 jobs per year in the construction phase and about 1,500 permanent jobs once the line enters service. A part of this employment, still to be specified, will correspond to Spanish professionals.
Speaking earlier this week, Spanish Minister for Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, José Luis Ábalos, said that “we are celebrating that Renfe is launching operations in the USA with a contract worth 6 billion dollars”.
Ábalos expressed his satisfaction after confirming that Renfe – the railway operator run by his ministerial department – has been awarded the largest contract ever to a Spanish public company.
Renfe is an acronym for Red Nacional de los Ferrocarriles Españoles, which translates as National Network of Spanish Railways.
“Renfe is consolidating its position as one of the leading railway operators in the world” by becoming the operator responsible for designing the first high-speed railway line in the United States, said Ábalos.