As the privately funded Texas high-speed rail plan to connect Houston and Dallas attracts its share of opponents, one of the looming questions is whether or not Southwest Airlines will join the fray. It wouldn't be the first time.
As Aman Batheja of the Texas Tribune recounted last year, Texas made a failed go at high-speed rail back in 1989. Officials formed a state rail authority and developed plans with the French high-speed rail provider TGV. Fearful that such a train service would put a dent in its travel base, Southwest Airlines lobbied hard against the Texas TGV plan, even making overtures of leaving the state. A record Batheja tracked down from that era reveals the nature of Southwest's rancor: