The deal between Renfe and Texas Central concluded in 2019 for the development of a high-speed rail project linking Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth in Texas, USA, is set to bring in $6 billion for the Spanish railway operator.
The alliance, for which a pre-agreement has already been signed whilst waiting for the full contract to be finalised, will see Renfe working with the largest privately-owned railway undertaking in the world, Texas Central, until 2042.
This contract cements Renfe’s participation in the landmark US railway project, and falls in step with the company’s strategy to grow through international development, drawn up by its CEO Isaías Táboas.
The Renfe of America team, a company specially set up to manage development projects such as this in the Americas, has been working since last year on the consultation phase of the proposed railway link. Tábaos in fact had just returned from a meeting held with Texas Central at the end of January to go over progress being made in this work.
The civil engineering contractor Salini Impregilo has been tasked with building the infrastructure for the line, which it says will be finished in 6 years. Renfe will then take over maintenance and will operate trains running between the two Texan cities between 2026 and 2042.
The design and construction phases (up to 2026) are set to net Renfe $311 million in income whilst the maintenance and operation period (from 2026 to 2042) is forecast to bring in approximately $5.611 million in revenue.
The private consortium, Texas Central may also have plans to extend the high-speed link to Austin and San Antonio, which could also lead to further cooperation between the two companies.
First high-speed train in the USA
The Houston-Dallas high-speed link will be the first of its kind in the United States, joining the two cities that lie 386 kilometres (240 miles) apart, in less than 90 minutes.
In addition to the stations in Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston, the line will have one intermediary stop in Brazos Valley. All the stations will be connected to the highway system and public transport networks, and offer ample parking.
The Texas high-speed line will be the first ever wholly privately-owned high-speed project in the world, evidencing the viability of high speed as a business. In addition, Texas, which has long been a state associated with the development of fossil fuels will now be a pioneer in the United States, in banking on sustainable transport solutions, and marking a turning point that reflects sociocultural trends currently emerging around the globe.