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Texans Speak Out Against First U.S. Bullet Train

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On June 27, 2016, we ran the story “Texas Plans to Break Ground on First Bullet Train in U.S.” on our Texas Hill Country Facebook page, and the results were astounding. We heard from several folks all over the state, including Texas landowners and the private rail company mentioned, Texas Central. The reason for the original story was to inform the public of the plans underway to build a high-speed railway between Dallas and Houston. However, thousands of Texans are in an uproar of the proposed railway, and they have made their voices heard.

As we reported previously, Texas Central, a private railway company, plans to break ground on America’s first high-speed train next year. The bullet train will top out at 200 mph and will conduct travelers from Houston to Dallas in 90 minutes with a stop in Brazos County on a relatively straight path through flat land. With two pairs of seats separated by an aisle, it will resemble a commercial airline’s first-class cabin. Trains will depart every 30 minutes to an hour on two tracks that will run parallel with one train going north and the other going south simultaneously. Texas Central will buy the plans for the train from a Japanese company that has perfected the design and efficiency of high-speed trains with no crashes, fatalities, or even substantial lateness.

The video below, posted by TexasCentralHSR and on the Texas Central website, gives an overview of the benefits of the high-speed railway between Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston.

Texas Central states that no taxpayer money will be used for the railway because it is a $10 billion private project. Locations for the Houston station are still up in the air, but the Dallas station will be near South Side on Lamar. If all goes as planned, the bullet train should be up and running in 2022.

Also, as mentioned in the prior article, there has been some concern about the project by state officials, and now many Texas landowners are voicing their concerns as well. In particular, supporter Brian Anderson of Texans Against High Speed Rail contacted Texas Hill Country about airing “the other side of the story.” According to the TAHSR website, the nonprofit organization, has been “challenging Texas Central at every turn and will keep on doing so.”

 Image: Facebook/TexansAgainstHSR

The TAHSR website also states, “Because eminent domain is typically a last resort, and this project is far from the point of being approved to acquire property through eminent domain, the TAHSR Land Defense Fund was created to offer landowners a collective effort to protect their lands and ecologically sensitive natural resources and wildlife from being harmed long before eminent domain is necessary. This should ease the burden from landowners to retain individual counsel at this point. TAHSR Land Defense Fund is a Texas nonprofit corporation, which is applying for tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code to be effective for 2016; if the IRS grants the exemption, donations to the fund may be tax deductible.”

One Texas Hill Country Facebook user David Richmond commented, “You can already fly between Dallas and Houston. We don’t need to be laying down hundreds of miles of tracks through privately owned land of people who don’t want this.”

What do you think?

However you view the high-speed rail debate, stay informed, and follow TexasHillCountry.com for breaking news.

Note from the Editor: We apologize for the error in the prior article’s headline stating that Texas “just broke ground”. It should have read, “plans to break ground”, and the correction was quickly made.