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Thursday, December 15, 2016
Texas Central names new CEO as bullet train focus switches
The N700 train in Japan is similar to what Texas Central wants to use to connect Dallas to Houston
Texas Central Partners, the company attempting to build the bullet train between Dallas and Houston, has expanded its leadership team, naming veteran design-build executive Carlos Aguilar as CEO.
Aguilar brings more than 30 years of experience leading major infrastructure development projects.Current CEO Tim Keith will become president and will lead capital raising and external affairs after Aguilar takes the CEO reins next week.
Texas Central executives said the appointment by the company’s Board of Directors marks the project’s shift from the development stage to the planning, engineering and construction and operations phase.
Over the last two years, Texas Central has been proceeding with the environmental, design, engineering, field studies and related work as part of the Federal Railroad Administration’s preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement as well as discussions with those FRA components responsible for safety and technology issues.
Texas Central is the private Texas-based company developing the nation’s first high-speed passenger train connecting North Texas and Houston, with a midway stop near Bryan/College Station in the Brazos Valley. The 205 mph train will make the Dallas-Houston trip in 90 minutes.
The company’s market-led approach is backed by private investors, not government grants — a relatively new business model for infrastructure projects.
Aguilar, formerly a senior vice president at CH2M Hill, a global engineering company, has an extensive background in industrial and infrastructure work, and his appointment, effective Dec. 12, reflects the project’s evolving focus.
“Carlos brings a significant mix of construction management and engineering experience, making him an ideal fit for our team as we move forward on this transformational project,” said Richard Lawless, chairman of the Texas Central board. “He has a proven leadership record in the management of large-scale infrastructure projects and has excelled in the energy, transportation and rail industries. We look forward to his many contributions.”
Aguilar, 58, said he is eager to start as CEO of Texas Central and its subsidiaries.
“The Texas Central project is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to develop the country’s first true high-speed train, and I look forward to leveraging the great team in place,” Aguilar said. “This is a project that not only will address the state’s growing transportation demands but also will provide an economic catalyst and jobs in local communities for generations to come.”
Aguilar, while at CH2M, served on its Management Committee and was chairman of the CCPP Project Consortium for the Ichthys LNG Facility. Before that, he was president of BrightSource Construction Management and senior vice president at BrightSource Energy, developer of large-scale solar thermal power plants.