Backers Say Texarkana Would be Link on High-Speed Rail

MARCH 5, 2007 - Posted at 7:28 a.m. CST

TEXARKANA, Ark. (AP) - The head of a group working to establish a high-speed rail corridor into Texas says putting high-speed passenger and freight trains on the rails between Fort Worth, Texas, and Little Rock would require only upgrades to lines already in place. Backers say interest in the idea -- and the need -- is still there, though the idea is years old.

Texarkana, sitting astride the Arkansas-Texas state line, is on one of the routes for high-speed rail service, as designated by the Federal Railroad Administration in 2000.

Peter LeCody, president of Texas Rail Advocates, says funds are not currently available to develop the South Central High Speed Rail Corridor so the next step would be to coordinate the various groups to seek federal and state funding.

As envisioned, the service would reach speeds of 90 to 110 miles per hour. Texas Rail Advocates says the service could provide a reliable, safe alternative to intercity travelers, give shippers greater speed, and spur development.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)