Two centrally located spots in Dallas have been selected as finalist sites for the station in the high-speed train that's being plotted between Dallas and Houston. Both sites are located on the southwest corner of downtown.
One option is near South Side on Lamar; the other is closer to the Dallas Convention Center. Proximity to downtown was a key component, says Gary Thomas, president of Dallas Area Rapid Transit.
"Locating the high speed rail station in downtown Dallas provides the greatest flexibility for travelers since they will have access to all of DART's bus and light rail network and the Trinity Railway Express commuter rail connecting to Fort Worth," Thomas said in a release.
"Locating the high-speed rail station in downtown Dallas provides the greatest flexibility for travelers," said DART chief Gary Thomas.
Texas Central Railway, the private, Texas-based company that's promoting the development of the high-speed passenger rail, previously identified seven possible station locations — running from Union Station at the north to I-45 at the south — before narrowing it down to these two.
Option 1, the South Side on Lamar terminal site, includes undeveloped land with the 10 to 20 acres of land TCR estimates is needed for the terminal station, parking and space for future development.
Option 2 would extend over I-30 and includes part of the South Side on Lamar property as well as property next to the Dallas Convention Center, which just so happens to include property owned by the Dallas Morning News.
"Either of these locations will allow for a high-speed rail station location and design that will become iconic to the Dallas skyline," said TCR chairman and CEO Richard Lawless.
Both options allow for connectivity with the separate, public high-speed rail project connecting Dallas, Arlington and Fort Worth that's also being considered. Other criteria included accessibility, visibility, cost, customer service, ease of parking and future economic development surrounding the station.
Texas Central Partners, the independent development company responsible for the high-speed rail system's design, finance, construction, operation and maintenance, has signed on Matthews Southwest to serve as development partner. Matthews' most recent projects include the revitalization of the Cedars area and the Omni Hotel. If you want to open a tchotchke shop across the street from the train station, Jack Matthews is your guy.
TCR anticipates that the final station location selection process will require several weeks to complete. TCR has not yet announced a station location in Houston. A variety of locations are under consideration, including an intermediate station serving Bryan/College Station and Huntsville.