Railroad company Texas Central has signed a contract with a joint venture (JV) comprising Italian builder Salini Impregilo and its US subsidiary Lane Construction to build a high-speed train service in Texas.

Under the design-build contract, the JV will be responsible for civil and infrastructure works for the high-speed rail link between Houston and Dallas.

The works include design and construction of the viaduct and embankment sections along the entire route.

The Salini Impregilo JV will also install the track system and construct all ancillary buildings and services that will host maintenance and other rail system equipment.

Additionally, the agreement requires the JV to carry out a set of early works, including advancing engineering design and detailed planning.

The latest contract follows Texas Central selecting Salini Impregilo in October last year to lead the civil construction consortium to build the North Texas-Houston high-speed rail project’s passenger line.

Texas Central CEO Carlos F Aguilar said: “This agreement brings us one step closer to beginning construction of the civil infrastructure segments of the project.

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“Salini-Lane’s unmatched track record with rail infrastructure, and very specifically its world-class high-speed rail expertise across the globe, will be central to the completion of America’s first end to end high-speed rail system.”

The Texan high-speed rail project will be based on Japanese Central Japan Railway’s Tokaido Shinkansen train system.

It will connect North Texas, the Brazos Valley and Houston in a 90-minute trip. The high-speed project will involve an investment of $20bn, which includes $14bn of civil works.