Austin American-Statesman 2/16/14 By Ben Wear

Is it time to take high-speed rail in Texas seriously? Or at least half-seriously? Allow me to circle around an answer.

Start with this: A whole lot of smoke has been rising from the issue lately in the state.

Most prominently, we have a private company, Texas Central Railway, purportedly backed by Japanese interests that are behind profitable bullet trains in that country, saying it will build a 240-mile high-speed line that would take people from Houston to Dallas in 90 minutes. Company officials say they can be laying track within two years and running trains by 2021.

The two most important words in that paragraph: private and profitable, two things that U.S. passenger rail is not.

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