- June 1, 2021: Vol. 8, Number 6

Lone Star locomotion: Texas slated to become home to first U.S. high-speed rail system

by Kali Persall

Texas Central Railroad has signed a $1.6 billion contract with Kiewit Infrastructure South Co. and affiliate Mass. Electric Construction Co. for the installation of electrical systems needed to operate a high-speed train running from Dallas to Houston.

The Texas Central project is the first high-speed rail system in the United States. It will use $7.3 billion of materials from U.S. companies across 37 states and will have a direct cumulative economic impact of $36 billion over the next 25 years. The core electrical systems include critical safety and systems elements as well as signaling and communications equipment.

According to Texas Central, Kiewit and Mass. Electric have worked on some of the nation’s most high-profile rail transportation systems, including projects in Houston, Dallas, Denver, Seattle, Miami, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and the Los Angeles metropolitan area.

In other infrastructure news, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $487 million in rural and wastewater infrastructure upgrades, renewable energy infrastructure, rural electric infrastructure and biofuel infrastructure in 45 states.

The largest investment will go toward modernizing rural drinking water and wastewater infrastructure in 31 states. USDA has pledged to commit $374 million to this effort, which will involve repairing or replacing sewer collection lines, manholes and pipes in cities such as Dunn, N.C. These modernizations will stop sewer system overflows, leading to cleaner rural water resources in the area.

In addition, USDA will invest $78 million in renewable energy infrastructure in 30 states in an effort to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements.

In response to rural electric infrastructure needs, USDA will commit $17.4 million in loans in New Mexico and South Dakota to build and improve such infrastructure and connect residents to affordable and dependable power.

Finally, USDA said it will address biofuel demand by investing $18.4 million to build infrastructure that will help expand the availability of higher-blend renewable fuels by some 218 million gallons per year.


Kali Persall is a reporter at Institutional Real Estate, Inc. and editor of iREOC Connect.

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