Passenger Rail, the Texas Way


Depressed about the Rail Runner? You’re not alone. New Mexico’s taxpayer-ripoff train wastes tens of millions of dollars a year, and in the middle of the next decade, $112 million in balloon payments will be due.

To our east, an intriguing plan to link Dallas and Houston by rail is underway. Texas Central Partners is working with Central Japan Railway Company, which operates 323 trains a day between Osaka and Tokyo, to cut the travel time between the Lone Star State’s two largest metro regions from several hours to 90 minutes.

Earlier this week, “Middle Class Joe” was in Texas, and praised the bullet-train proposal as leading “this country into an entire new era of transportation.”

But unlike the vice president’s beloved Amtrak, the Texas line will be run by “a privately funded company,” and is “not backed by public funds.”

There are many obstacles for Texas Central Partners to get past before its proposal becomes a reality. No matter what the outcome, though, taxpayers won’t be on the hook for its expenditures.

Once again, Texas is leading the way on pro-growth, pro-taxpayer, pro-freedom public policies. When will elected officials in New Mexico notice?

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8 Replies to “Passenger Rail, the Texas Way”

  1. The Texas group’s website notes that train stops will be determined by market demand: a big difference from the Rail Runner’s modus operandi of building a station for every pueblo.

    As long as New Mexico is stuck with the Rail Runner, turning it over to a private operator would be an improvement.

    1. Jim,

      The operations of the Rail Runner are already managed by a private company. There is nothing that can save the Rail Runner as long as it operates. It needs to be shut down immediately.

  2. Amtrak is definitely good for Greyhound and the airlines. We could have a great passenger rail system if they sold the parts to private corporations.

    Dave Harris

  3. Alb, ElP and Spaceport? Keep the line to Santa Fe, and connect three democrat backwaters, and the Llano de Liebre. (From a Jeffersonian Liberal)

    We took first class train trip from Vancouver BC to Halifax NS this past Spring. As I recall, not a person using a cell phone while on board – a polite society! Absolutely wonderful 3-week excursion; the US has nothing like it.

    And I did the Amtrak fast train Boston to DC last Fall; great trip in far less than driving time, caught the train a block from my hotel, the Fairmont Copley Plaza, ended at Union Station 2.5 miles from my hotel and Ruth’s Chris, a modest little eatery. The concierge service on board was attentive, no security checks or arriving two hours early, and other than the rude and stupid folk who believe we all should hear their telephone conversations, a very enjoyable trip. (Most cell phone users appear about as considerate as a five-year-old with his first drum)

  4. The problem with Democrats is they think they can pick, chose and push their PC technologies with tax payer money instead free market incentives. Then, when it isn’t working, why they need draconian regulations to impress their brilliant and proper ideas on us all.

  5. Economic gravity will impose itself on the Rail Runner, the Spaceport, and all other such subsidized follies and bring them to earth. The only question is how long taxpayers will allow themselves to be bled, and how deeply. In a perfect world, both ventures would be terminated this very day. The damage only gets worse from here. DOUG HELLIE, AUTHOR OF “DYING DOLLAR, RISING STAR”

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