Plans for a so-called "bullet train" that backers say would carry passengers between Houston and Dallas in 90 minutes are expected to clear an early hurdle.
Federal officials on Wednesday are scheduled to announce if Texas and the private company behind the rail project can begin environmental reviews.
Texas Central Railway has given no cost estimates on the proposed 240-mile route.
Proponents tell the Houston Chronicle that they are expecting the go-ahead for starting the review process.
Backers say construction could begin as soon as 2016 and trains could start rolling by 2021.