HOUSTON-TO-DALLAS BULLET TRAIN PUTTING THE BRAKES ON ALL THOSE LAWSUITS The company planning to build a bullet train between Houston and Dallas appears to be altering the legal strategy it had been using to try to get landowners to allow crews on their land to survey property along the proposed 240-mile route. Texas Tribune reporter Brandon Formby says Texas Central Partners has withdrawn 17 lawsuits across the state (including one in Harris County that had a trial scheduled for July) and settled 21 others that had sought court-ordered access. Officials of the private company now say they will seek an “open dialogue” with property owners about letting crews in. The company tells Formby it has already reached land-purchase options with more than 3,000 landowners, accounting for 30 percent of the total number of parcels it needs, and 50 percent in the 2 counties along the route adjacent to Harris County: Grimes and Waller. The company announced last week that the train is now expected to begin operating in 2023. [Texas Tribune; Houston Business Journal; previously on Swamplot] Map of proposed high-speed rail routes: Texas Central Railway
So these rail genesis’, couldn’t get access to private property. So they sued the owners. Then decided that was a bad idea. So now they want to have an “open dialogue” with land owners that they 1. Tried to trespass on their land. And 2. Tried to sue. Ima go out on a limb here and say these rail folks dont know how to deal with rural TX land owners.
I bet the train won’t run until 2029 !
Texas Central likely will file an appeal to the adverse ruling they received from the Federal Surface Transportation Board last summer. If the Surface Transportation Board back pedals from its previous ruling or loses on appeal, then Texas Central will have all the eminent domain authority they need. Since Trump will very likely will replace one member of the board and can effect influence in the STB Office of General Counsel, Texas Central might get the ruling they want.
Did they just have a press release earlier this week trying to blow smoke up everyones’ rear ends claiming progress?
Am I the only one who questions the underlying premise behind this train??…that there is enormous business travel between Dallas & Houston. There has to be significant business travel to support such an endeavor, such as for the Acela between DC-Boston. In my line of work, and for most of the people I associate with, more intrastate business travel exists to Austin or San Antonio. Sure, I’ll fly through Dallas to connect to a flight elsewhere or stay there for a personal visit.
They should just use some of that funding that they assure everyone is there to buy a little short line railroad somewhere in the state, and shut down all the blathering about eminent domain by people who just want to squeeze out unrealistic prices for their land. Of course then the legislature will make up a new rule that railroads can only extend existing routes or some other special-purpose nonsense.