The Federal Railroad Administration has eliminated from consideration both paths that would have carried the trains to Houston’s central business district. The agency is overseeing environmental approvals for the multibillion-dollar line proposed by Texas Central Partners.
The decision essentially gives Texas Central “our target landing zone,” CEO Tim Keith said, although the company still must procure numerous federal approvals, hold public meetings, raise money and acquire land before construction could begin.
If these hurdles are overcome, the rail station would give the area around Northwest Mall a catalyst for growth, as the end points of the rail line could generate significant economic development. To downtown boosters, though, the decision represents a missed opportunity to complete the line to Houston’s core.