Oklahoma City-South Texas Corridor Investment Plan
PROJECT WEBSITE: Texas-Oklahoma Passenger Rail Study
All dates below are specific to the schedule of the Environmental Review and Permitting processes for this project.
ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW AND PERMITTING STATUS
COMPLETION DATE OF ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW AND PERMITTING
Other Agencies with Actions or Authorizations:
The 850-mile TOPRS Corridor extends from Oklahoma City in the north through Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, and San Antonio to destinations in south Texas including Laredo, Corpus Christi, and Brownsville. Existing passenger rail service includes intercity service on the Heartland Flyer (Oklahoma City to Fort Worth), Texas Eagle (Fort Worth to San Antonio), and Sunset Limited (Los Angeles to New Orleans via San Antonio) operated by Amtrak, and regional/commuter rail service on the Trinity Railway Express (Dallas to Fort Worth) and Capital MetroRail (Austin) operated by Texas operators. Intercity passenger rail between Oklahoma City and San Antonio provides service to cities and communities generally along the Interstate 35 (I–35) corridor. The purpose of Study is to evaluate alternatives to provide higher speed passenger rail service to meet future intercity travel demand and to improve rail facilities, reduce journey times, and improve connections with regional public transit services. These improvements are needed because of the current and forecast population and business growth within the study area that has resulted in growing congestion on highways and rail services along the Interstate 35 (I–35) corridor.
The I–35 corridor, running from Duluth, Minnesota, to Laredo, Texas, is a congressionally identified corridor of national significance and is one of the fastest growing regions in the U.S., running through six of the largest urban areas and nine of the 50 largest cities in the U.S. International truck traffic demand, intercity truck traffic demand, and passenger travel demand compete for highway capacity, creating substantial congestion inside the urban areas through which the highway runs. Projections for the Dallas/Fort Worth to San Antonio portion of the corridor show average speeds along I–35 would drop from 55 to 15 miles per hour by 2035.
Transportation plans for Texas and Oklahoma have identified substantial population growth and population aging within the Study corridor. Texas population is expected to grow by 39% between 2010 to 2035. The population of the Texas Triangle (a region of Texas bounded by Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio) has been growing rapidly over the last several decades, with growth rates in some areas as high as 27%. Texas’ population has grown making it the second most populous state in the U.S. with most of the state’s population centered in the eastern half of the state, along and east of the I–35 corridor. Oklahoma City is expected to see a population increase of 25% from 2000 to 2035, with intensified population densities in the metropolitan area.
Populations within the Study area are also aging, with the percentage of people who are 65 years old or older expected to grow from about 13% to nearly 20% by 2030 in Oklahoma and from 10% to over 17% in Texas, with the aging population expected to rely more heavily on public transportation such as intercity rail. Long range transportation plans in Texas and Oklahoma have identified the need to improve passenger rail services to meet the future demand brought on by these changes in population.
In addition, pertinent information can be found at the project's FRA webpage, https://www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P0716.
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The permitting timetable below displays data as reported by agencies. Dates for Environmental Review and Permitting processes (Actions) that are in 'Paused' or 'Planned' status are subject to change and are not indicative of a project's final schedule.
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