High Speed Rail Sought For East Texas

Is "high speed rail" in the future for east Texas? A newly formed group is trying to make that a reality. Members of the "east Texas corridor council" were trying to drum up support high speed rail travel through east Texas, with a presentation at Greggton united methodist church today.

"We want to make sure east Texas is a full player in the process of how high speed rail comes out" says Amtrak worker Grif Hubbard.

The group wants support for funding that would bring high speed trains through the "Texas Eagle" route, from Chicago to Dallas, through east Texas. And those that frequent the rails are all for it.

"I love the trains , really other than driving if i could ride the trains all the time that's the way to go" says frequent train rider John Wood.

And new speeds will boost the economy.

"But also from freight train service which also is a stimulant to the economy of all local areas" Hubbard says.

Traveling between 80 and 100 miles per hour, high speed rail would require no new hardware, just modifications to the rails. With high speed rail, Longview to fort worth is 90 minutes, Shreveport to the metroplex 2 hours, and an 18 hour trip to Chicago, would be 9 hours, a travel advantage train riders look forward to.

"I'd like to see that particularly for short hauls, go to Dallas, to St. Louis and Chicago, like to see that happen" says Longview train traveler John Hill.

If funding can be found, high speed rail could be a reality within 2 years. The council holds its first formal meeting on high speed rail in April. Bob Hallmark reporting.