Supporters and opponents of proposed high-speed train await Texas Central’s next move
BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) -What’s next? That’s the billion-dollar question supporters and opponents of Texas Central’s proposed 240 Mile high-speed train from Houston to Dallas are asking.
Texas Central’s recent victory in the Supreme Court of Texas has reignited the conversation about the project many considered to be dead as the company faces obstacles including reported funding challenges and a lack of upper management after the company’s CEO step down in June.
With Texas Central now having eminent domain authority many are wondering if new investors will emerge to get the project back on track.
Advocates like Rick Harnish with the high-speed rail alliance say the supreme court decision granting texas central eminent domain authority is a small step forward in connecting rural communities with metro cities.
“Were happy to see that the project can proceed according to this one piece of the puzzle,” said Harnish. “Texas uses eminent domain on a regular basis in order to expand highways and airports and utilities such as pipelines and electric utilities also use eminent domain in order to create our critical infrastructure.”
The Bryan-College Station Chamber of Commerce has supported Texas Central since its inception. Chamber President Glen Brewer says investment in transportation spurs both local and regional economies.
“Being able to be in Dallas and Ft. Worth or being able to be in Houston in a short amount of time without driving, without taking a car, relieving congestion on the highway without having to, you can work on your laptop while you’re going to your meeting. There are just a lot of efficiencies that come with traveling by rail that you’re not going to get by driving by car or having to go through the airport system,” said Brewer.
“It does look like they’ve had some success on the legal front. There’s still some fundraising as I understand that they have to run through as far as investment goes that could slow things down,” said Brewer.
Brewer says while they support the project, they also hope that the railway purchases property on the free market instead of forcing people to sell.
“It really is a win-win for the business community, but we definitely understand the rights, the property rights and we’re hoping that doesn’t interfere with anyone’s private property rights.,” said Brewer.
KBTX reached out to Texas Central with the hopes of learning if and when new leadership could be in place and the next step in the project, but have yet to hear back.
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