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A Battle Brews Over Texas Central Rail’s Efforts to Reopen Federal Proceedings

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In a letter to Chairman of the U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB), Ann Begeman, Congressman Kevin Brady (TX-08) and Congressman Ron Wright (TX-06) voice strong opposition to Texas Central Rail’s (TCR) petition to reopen proceedings regarding the STB authority over the High-Speed Rail project between Houston and Dallas.

“While I support infrastructure improvements that address the dynamic growth of Texas, I remain opposed to the Texas High Speed Rail as currently proposed as it works against local communities, instead of for them,” said Brady. “TCR’s efforts to use eminent domain against the will of property owners I represent will harm our rural lifestyle without offering any direct benefits. I also oppose their efforts to secure federal loans backed by taxpayers, while claiming to be a project that does not rely on tax dollars.”

“Although I support improvements in transit options for all Texans, the rural counties between Dallas and Houston do not exist for the benefit of Dallas and Harris Counties,” stated Wright.

Background regarding opposition to the petition to reopen proceedings:

  • Primary purpose is to impose federal eminent domain powers – the authority to take land against the property owners will – over Texas landowners who oppose the project’s 240-mile route through farms, ranches and homesteads that have been in their family for generations.
  • In 2016 the STB correctly ruled that it did not have jurisdiction over this project. To date, nothing has materially changed to justify a reversal of that ruling.
  • The flawed petition would establish a new and troubling precedent, which could open the door for any inner-city metro system in the United States to classify itself as a federal railroad if connection is provided to the nearest Amtrak station.

Click here to view the letter.

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