The Texas Central has appointed Temple-based business leader, entrepreneur and former Houston Astros owner Drayton McLane Jr. as chairman of its board.
“The more involved I have gotten with the Texas Bullet Train the more I realize its positive transformational impact on our state and our nation,” McLane said. “I am a businessman who is meticulous about what I get involved in, and I am excited to be leading this project that leverages the capital and spirit of entrepreneurs instead of relying on taxpayer dollars.”
McLane said the train is a key solution to the state’s transportation problem as congestion continues to grow with the state’s population.
The trains would travel at speeds up to 205 mph, linking the state’s largest commercial hubs and half of the state’s population in 90 minutes.
The project is expected to generate $36 billion in economic activity over the next 25 years.
McLane is replacing Richard Lawless who remains as a board member and chairman emeritus. McLane joined the board in January of 2017.
The announcement comes after Texas Central recently selected Irving-based Fluor Enterprises and The Lane Construction Corporation to handle pre-construction planning, design and engineering services.
McLane is native Texan who oversaw a family grocery business that he grew into what is now one of the largest foodservice distributors in the world the McLane Company.
He expanded the company into a multi-billion-dollar enterprise that Wal-Mart acquired in 1990. As a result, McLane also previously served as Vice-Chair of the Board of Wal-Mart.
McLane now is chairman of the McLane Group and other family-controlled companies.
From 1992 until 2011, McLane was the sole owner, chairman and CEO of the Houston Astros baseball team.
McLane is a graduate of Baylor University and former chairman of Baylor’s Board of Regents.
In 2012, McLane gave the lead donation for the construction of Baylor’s on-campus football stadium, a project that cost $260 million and now bears his family name, McLane Stadium.
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