RTC will set aside $US 1.5m each year starting in 2016 for the project from its regional toll revenue fund. The line would follow an alignment via Arlington to the south of the existing Trinity Rail Express commuter line linking Dallas and Fort Worth and could be between 50 and 65km long. The objective is to open the new line in 2021.

"With population growth in Dallas-Fort Worth and throughout Texas showing no signs of slowing down, innovation is necessary," says Mr Bill Meadows, chairman of the Commission for High Speed Rail in Dallas-Fort Worth. "With this decision, the RTC has reaffirmed its commitment to high-speed rail in the region."

The line would connect with the planned Texas Central Railway, a privately-funded project to build a 385km high-speed line from Dallas to Houston at an estimated cost of $US 10bn, and a scheme to provide a better rail link along the 1370km corridor connecting Oklahoma City, Dallas/Fort Worth, San Antonio and Corpus Christi.