Shinagawa Confirmed

With the recent release of the FRA’s Alternatives Analysis, Texas Central has taken a giant step toward a system design which might just be constructed.

Notably, both Downtown Houston alignment options have been deleted, in favor of a station at the Northwest Mall. Wealthy inner-ring homeowners are the biggest thorn in the side of any high speed rail project, and TCR’s decision to avoid their ‘hoods entirely removes standing from perhaps half of the folks who’d be likely to sue.

Spatially, a station at Northwest Mall (or one of the adjacent properties, such as Tex-Tube) is similar to Tokyo’s Shinagawa, as well as any number of European terminii. It’s also closer to the centroid of white collar employment in Houston, for which Downtown is the easternmost outpost.

2 thoughts on “Shinagawa Confirmed”

  1. My fear is that it’ll be like Ueno. The Tohoku Shinkansen was a basket case until it was extended from Omiya and Ueno to Tokyo Station.

    Granted, Gare de Lyon isn’t exactly Les Halles, but it’s really well-connected to the CBD, and Paris also doesn’t have the spiky downtown employment that North American and high-income East Asian cities do.

  2. My gut feeling is that the Downtown interests will make it happen after the trains have been running for a few years. Once TCR begins operating, the entire TX-OK-LA area is locked into Shinkansen spec, so successive projects can be publicly-funded without falling into Caltrain/NEC style procurement idiocy.

    COH/METRO/TxDOT/FRA can build their own NWMall-Downtown-NASA link and then just lease paths to TCR.

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