High-Speed Trains in El Paso?

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POSTED: Wednesday, September 8, 2010 - 2:49pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, September 8, 2010 - 9:45pm

EL PASO- All the rage in Europe, 'bullet' trains are being talked about more and more here in the U.S.  Texas has its own plans for high-speed trains.  But do those plans include El Paso?

Discussions at the state level about high-speed trains have included El Paso among possible hub cities.

We asked El Pasoans what they thought.  Nearly everyone we spoke to said yes to high speed.

But State Representative Joe Pickett is quick to put on the brakes.  He loves the idea, but says 'bullet' trains in the Sun City are more myth than reality.

"A higher speed rail from El Paso to Phoenix or El Paso to L.A., it's not really practical," he says.

It starts with a $40 million price tag on each mile of high-speed track.  Money would have to come from state, federal, and private sources. 

That's something Pickett says isn't easy to organize.  Ticket prices would also have to compete with the airlines.  Combined, the two form quite an obstacle.

"El Paso, again, we're ripe for a commuter-type system that would maybe connect us with cities in New Mexico," he says.

That's his alternative.  A light rail that is designed to take commuters into El Paso.  Pickett says it's easier to do since plans are already in place.

The Rail Runner system would run from Denver to El Paso.  Its feasibility is being studied right now.

El Pasoans like the idea.

"We do need other forms of transportation here in the city other than the buses.  So yeah, I would consider them," one man said.

So trains might be rolling into El Paso soon, though not as fast as some would like.

Comments News Comments

El Paso likes it but as usual Los Cruces is left out in the cold. Figures that we get passed by but will have to pay for it

I would like to see a bullet train from El Paso to Corpus Christi. Im sure alot of El Pasoans would like to spend a weekend in our Texas beaches. Im willing to give 1,000 dollars to fund that train.

Just build it! Cut back on the polution and the absurd use of oil. El Paso needs to be connected to other major cities for it to develop the economy. Don't connect it to out of state cities if it is going to be a difficult thing. Connect it to Austin - San Antonio - Dallas. Stop depriving El Pasoans from being able to travel within the borders of it's own state without questioning the cost. There are federal funds and definitely the need to employ people.

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