1200 WOAI News has learned that officials in Texas and in Mexico are discussing the possibility of building a high speed rail link between San Antonio and Monterrey.
U.S. Rep Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo) discussed the idea last week with Mexico's resident, Enrique Pena Nieto, in Mexico City. He says top Mexican transportation officials are also on board.
"The Texas Department of Transportation will be heading down to Monterrey to look at their facilities," Cuellar told 1200 WOAI news. "Pretty soon there will be a recommendation to be made, either one route or two routes down to the border from San Antonio."
Cuellar says the high speed rail link could pass through Laredo, or it could pass through the Rio Grande Valley on its way to Monterrey.
Cuellar says the project would spur not only economic development for chronically poor South Texas, but it would also create jobs in Northern Mexico, which would help reduce illegal immigration into the U.S. He says the rail line could also carry products from the Mexico Maquilladora plants into Texas, reducing truck congestion on Interstate 35.
"I think this means the two countries would be getting a lot closer," he said. "This is a very exciting project."
Cuellar says the economic development opportunities on both sides of the border are boundless.
"You are talking about a couple hours when they could go from Monterrey to San Antonio," he said. "People from Monterrey could be in San Antonio in two hours, they could be here to do shopping, business leaders could make the trip in a very short time, I think it's a win win situation."
No price tag has been placed on the project, and no funding sources have been identified. Cuellar says it will be another year before a potential route is even determined.