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DALLAS (CBS11) – Dallas city leaders Monday got more specific about plans for a high speed rail line linking the City to Houston. The rail line has been on the City of Dallas’ wish list for many years.

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“I’m 33. At least 15 years. Something like that,” mused Dallas resident Robert Wenning.

But, now the promise of a privately-funded effort through a company called Texas Central Railway has some North Texans like Wenning eager to get on board.

“A huge boost in the economy,” said Wenning. “Dollars spent downtown or wherever the major hub is.”

Wenning said he would absolutely become a customer if high speed rail becomes a reality. “

Cheaper alternative to flying,” he said. “Jump off and walk around town.”

After what seems like many false starts, Dallas City Councilman Lee Kleinman said he is a believer.

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“I’m really optimistic about it,” said Kleinman, who chairs the Transportation and Trinity River Committee on the council. “It’s different because there’s no government money, it’s also different because we opened up Love Field to long haul flights, so the Dallas/Houston leg? Airlines are not as attracted to that as they were forced to be in the past.”

Monday, Kleinman and city staffers toured a site that could become the rail line’s main station in Dallas. It is the Able Pump Station on Riverfront, just south of Interstate 30.

“So we will actually hire a contractor to go through and plan out what needs to be in that area and how does it interact with existing businesses and existing property,” said Kleinman.

City supporters expect that high-speed rail will become an economic rocket—and not just for the immediate area… citing the increase in property values and tax revenue for the city. Still, others see high-speed rail as a long term investment in broader opportunities.

“You have to have it,” said Wenning, “you’re not going to get any huge event… the Olympics, anything like that if you don’t have huge mass transit, which, other than DART, you really don’t have.”

Construction is expected to begin within the next four to five years.

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