Supposing you are very lucky and hit no traffic, a trip from Dallas to Houston is about 4 hours. Imagine that same trip taking 90 minutes, and with no need to board a plane.
That hope may one day be a reality if Texas Central accomplishes its goal of a Japanese-style bullet train connecting Dallas to Houston. Trains like these operate at a whopping 200 miles per hour and have an admirable safety record:
Japan’s proven Shinkansen High-Speed Train System, which has a 50+ year history in Japan of no crashes, fatalities or injuries due to train accidents. This technology reliably moves more than 400,000 passengers every day with an average annual “delay” of less than one minute.
Texas Central and the hope for a bullet train in Texas is nothing new, but they did take a step forward recently, as Spanish train operators Renfre have been hired on as "early operators":
Spanish national rail operator Renfe, which Texas Central selected in 2018 as a strategic partner, operates 5,000 trains daily on 7,500 miles of track, and handled more than 510 million riders and 17 million tons of freight in 2019.
After raising more necessary funding, the project could begin construction late this year or early 2022. This is a privately-funded endeavor which has already received its safety guidelines and an OK on environmental impact from the Federal Railroad Administration.
In addition to the dedicated route from Dallas to Houston, the train is planned to have a stop near Texas A&M University.
Texas is an enormous state, and I'd personally love to see it all connected via bullet trains. The distance from Lubbock to Austin as the crow flies is 373 miles, meaning a bullet train could get there in a little under two hours. For another, more extreme example: Corpus Christi to El Paso is 700 miles. The bullet train could get all the way across the state in three and a half hours. Incredible.
A system of bullet trains would certainly force flights to be more competitive with their rates, and would give those of us who really loathe air travel an alternative. So far, this project is privately funded, but I'd like to see it receive grant money if it'll bring the trains along in a more timely manner.