Author Topic: Opponents of Houston-Dallas bullet train trumpet ruling that company is not a railroad  (Read 377 times)

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Offline Elderberry

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Houston Chronicle by  Dug Begley Feb. 11, 2019

The planned high-speed rail project from Houston to Dallas hit a big obstacle last week in rural Leon County when a judge there declared the project’s backers did not have authority to force landowners to sell or provide access to properties.

Opponents of the rail project on Monday cheered the ruling as a death knell for the line — albeit one that will take years to savor and finalize.

“This project cannot be finished without eminent domain and the project is completely off track,” said Blake Beckham, the Dallas lawyer who has represented opponents of the Texas Central Railway project.

Company officials said Monday many of the opponents’ claims and the significance of the ruling were exaggerated.

“Texas Central is appealing the Leon County judge’s decision and, meanwhile, it is moving forward on all aspects of the train project,” the company said in a statement.

The heart of many of the legal fights, and Monday’s decision, center on whether the company is, in fact, a railroad. Backers since 2014 have insisted the project — using Japanese bullet trains to connect Houston and Dallas via 90-minute trips as 220 mph — is a railroad and entitled to access to property to conduct surveys and acquire property via eminent domain.

“Texas has long allowed survey access by railroads like Texas Central, pipelines, electrical lines and other industries that provide for a public good and a strong economy,” the company said.

Opponents have insisted that since the company does not operate as a railroad, owns no trains and has not laid a single piece of track. it is not eligible for the access.

“Simply self-declaring that you are a railroad … does not make it so,” said Kyle Workman, one of the founders of Texans Against High-Speed Rail.

Judge Deborah Evans of the 87th District Court agreed, issuing an order Friday that found Texas Central and another company it formed “are not a railroad or interurban electric company.”

More: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/transportation/article/Opponents-of-Houston-Dallas-bullet-train-trumpet-13607501.php
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Offline Frank Cannon

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LOL. Doesn't sound like a railroad company. Sounds more like a bullshit taxpayer fleecing company.

Offline Sanguine

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— using Japanese bullet trains to connect Houston and Dallas via 90-minute trips as 220 mph —

If I remember correctly, these are used Japanese trains because the Japanese are upgrading and willing to sell the old ones, and the size of track isn't standard American track size.
Cui bono?

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Offline Bigun

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LOL. Doesn't sound like a railroad company. Sounds more like a bullshit taxpayer fleecing company.

B I N G O ! ! !

Offline Smokin Joe

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LOL. Doesn't sound like a railroad company. Sounds more like a bullshit taxpayer fleecing company.
Pretty nifty idea for a land grab...
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Offline Elderberry

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Judge sides with Texas landowners over high-speed rail issue

https://www.wacotrib.com/news/ap_texas/judge-sides-with-texas-landowners-over-high-speed-rail-issue/article_89d4ae74-461e-533a-bd65-4b733b119cd2.html

Quote
A judge sided with Texas landowners who pushed back against the prospect of being forced to sell their land for a proposed high-speed rail line connecting Houston and Dallas.

Leon County Judge Deborah Evans ruled this month that Texas Central Railway doesn't have the authority to force landowners to sell or provide access to their properties for its planned 200-mph bullet train, the Houston Chronicle reported.

The ruling centers on whether the company is a railroad, which backers say entitles them to access property through eminent domain. The privately funded project would use Japanese bullet trains to transport riders between the two cities in 90 minutes, and the estimated cost is $12 billion to $15 billion.

"Texas has long allowed survey access by railroads like Texas Central, pipelines, electrical lines and other industries that provide for a public good and a strong economy," the company said.

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