NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM/KRLD) – Plans for a high-speed rail train from the Dallas/Fort Worth area to Houston are moving ‘down the track’. The U.S. Department of Transportation has approved $15 million toward a project study.

The money, being sent to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), is to be used to fund an engineering and environmental study of high-speed rail.

“[The study is] to determine how best we can achieve these 150 mile an hour or higher…. since that has been designated as a federal core express route,” explained Bill Glavin, the director of rail for TxDOT.

The study will also look at the best route for rail that would avoid slowdowns.

While $15 million may seem like a lot of money, Glavin says it’s $3 million less than they requested. “We’ll just buckle down and figure out how to do it with the money that we have available.”

To date, the bulk of federal tax dollars for high-speed rail has been going to northern states.

Despite the fact that high-speed rail service in Texas is years away, Glavin says the funding is good news. “It gets us closer to being ready to implement a plan for the State of Texas for high-speed rail.”

The study, which could take up to 30 months, will also determine the environmental impact of construction and pick a route for the potential project.

The Department of Transportation grant does not guarantee federal backing of high-speed rail in Texas.