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Travis County judge wants Austin included in high-speed rail project

Travis County Judge Andy Brown is calling for the large-scale plan to include Travis County.

AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Central Partners and Amtrak are looking for ways to connect cities across Texas with a high-speed rail project.

Travis County Judge Andy Brown, a supporter of the project, is calling for it to include Travis County. He is proposing a 240-mile line that would extend from College Station through Austin to San Antonio.

“If we are going to add more high-speed rail to this country, the Dallas to Houston Corridor is a compelling proposition and offers great potential,” said Andy Byford, Amtrak's senior vice President of high-speed rail development programs. “We believe many of the country’s biggest and fastest-growing metropolitan areas, like Houston and Dallas, deserve more high quality high-speed, intercity rail service and we are proud to bring our experience to evaluate this potential project and explore opportunities with Texas Central so the state can meet its full transportation needs.”

According to a press release, on the 205 mph high-speed rail, travel time between Houston and Dallas would be less than 90 minutes. Travel time between Fort Worth to Austin would also be under 90 minutes.

`“Texans deserve fast, frequent and reliable transit,” Brown said. “A high-speed passenger rail system connecting the largest communities in our state could create economic growth, address affordability issues, and promote a safer and more environmentally responsible way to travel for everyone. I’m excited about today’s announcement and want to send a clear message from Travis County: This is an investment in our future and an investment in the people who live in our communities.”

An Environmental Impact Statement will need to be initiated for the next steps.

Boomtown is KVUE's series covering the explosive growth in Central Texas. For more Boomtown stories, head to KVUE.com/Boomtown.

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