Spain’s Renfe inks US$6 bil deal to build first ‘bullet train’ in US

High-speed train will run between Houston and Dallas in under 90 minutes. (Facebook pic/Renfe)

MADRID: Spanish train operator Renfe on Thursday said it had signed a US$6 billion deal with US rail developer Texas Central to design, build and run the United States’ first-ever high-speed rail line.

In a statement, Spain’s transport ministry said the €5.5 billion agreement would see Renfe working alongside its US partner to develop and operate a line between Houston and Dallas which would begin operating in 2042.

The two firms have signed a preliminary agreement but it is still in draft phase, said Renfe, Spain’s national rail operator.

Italian construction and engineering firm Salini Impregilo will be in charge of building the 386km line, which should be finished by 2026, the statement said.

For Renfe, the design and construction phase of the contract, which will run to 2026, is worth some US$311 million, while the operation and maintenance of the line between 2026 and 2042 will bring in some US$5.6 billion.

Described by Texas Central as the “bullet train”, the service will run between the two cities in under 90 minutes, with one stop en route at Brazos Valley.

Texas Central Partners is a private company set up for the rail project, which Renfe has described as the first-ever high-speed line in the United States.