Imagine you can live in the city you want anywhere in DFW without considering the commute to work either from Dallas to Fort Worth or the other way around. That just might be possible with the Texas Hyperloop or high-speed rail. Should this dream become a reality, it will redefine how DFW residents commute. Hyperloop promises to whip riders from Dallas to Fort Worth and vice versa in a scant six minutes.
North Texas planners are exploring two separate systems. One is the Hyperloop with its six-minute travel and the other is the Texas Bullet Train, which is similar to high-speed rail systems in Europe and Asia.
The way the Hyperloop works is that the vehicle or pod in a low-pressure tube with electric propulsion that gradually accelerates. Magnetic levitation sends the vehicle floating above the track as it glides at airplane speeds with its low-aerodynamic drag.
Virgin Hyperloop One is the privately-held company working to make this a reality. There is no schedule to ride hyperloop with on-demand service and no stops along the way. Pods can depart several times per minute.
The company expects a pod carrying a passenger or light cargo can travel 760 mph, two to three times faster than high-speed rail and 10 to 15 times faster than traditional rail. Riding the hyperloop is akin to flying in a passenger plane or riding in an elevator with zero turbulence.
The company’s goal to the systems operational by 2021. Factors like the regulatory and statutory process affect the timing.
Texas High-Speed Rail
Currently, private company Texas Central Partners plans to build the Texas Bullet Train system between Dallas and Houston. The company states it may extend its system to include Fort Worth and Arlington.
The Texas Bullet Train is based on the system currently in use to transport riders between Tokyo and Osaka, Japan. It’s been in service for more than 50 years with zero passenger fatalities or injuries.
Texas Central Partners say the Texas high-speed rail version will start at 186 mph ensuring a total trip time of fewer than 90 minutes between Dallas and Houston. It’s possible the speed will reach 205 mph, but it depends on market demands and regulatory approval.
High-speed rail works similar to train stations and bus service. They have scheduled times when they depart and specific stops along the route. The company says that it plans to run trains every 30 minutes during rush hour and every hour during off-peak times.
The Dallas station will be in Cedars neighborhood, south of I-30. It will allow passengers to change transportation with ease. In Houston, the station will be in the northwest part of the city, outside of 610 between Interstate 10/290. And like the Dallas station, it will be seamless to catch other modes of transportation.
Prices vary based on how far in advance tickets are purchased, the time of day traveled, the day of the week, and applicable discounts. Like with airfare, it’s possible there will be different classes of seating and the prices will reflect that.
Construction could begin as early as 2019. Michael Morris, director of transportation for the North Central Texas Council of Governments, says the system should be running within seven years.
Which one will it be? Hyperloop, Texas High-Speed Rail, DFW Transportation