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High Speed Rail On Track Between San Antonio, Monterrey

There is serious talk about connecting San Antonio with a high-speed rail. But the bullet train isn’t heading to Austin or Houston, the drive is to connect San Antonio with Monterrey, Mexico.

On Thursday South Texas Congressman Henry Cuellar met with Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx along with state and Mexican officials to discuss the proposed rail system.

Cuellar said driving the 300 miles between the two cities now can take a full day because of busy border checkpoints, and the trip has its hazards. But the high-speed rail would change that.

"Folks from San Antonio can travel from Monterrey in about two hours, in a fast train and in a safe way," Cuellar said.

Presently the Texas Department of Transportation is studying route selection and environmental impact between San Antonio and the border. That’s expected to be complete by the end of this year.

Mexico is moving faster on the project. Jorge Domene Zambrano, chief of staff for the governor of the State of Nuevo León, said they already have the right-of-way and will begin construction in 2015.

"As you know these projects are long-term projects and are not built in a year. So we are looking to finish this, if everything goes okay, in 2018," he said.

Cuellar said the U.S. side of the rail line won’t be ready for three to four years after that.

David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi