Standing room only at Madison County meeting on the high speed rail

MADISONVILLE, Tex. (KBTX) - The Federal Railroad Administration continued its public comment process on Monday.

Madison County residents packed the Kimbro Convention Center in Madisonville to voice their opinions.

"It's our opinion Texas Central has not shown a need," said Gene Whitesides, a Madisonville resident.

Whitesides owns 50 acres of land in Madisonville. He says Texas Central informed him they would need all of his land for the rail.

"I don't believe anyone under any certain circumstances should have to put their life and their families life on hold especially for a project we're not even sure a need has been shown for," said Whitesides.

Before the public hearing with the FRA residents could sit down with members of Texas Central. Travis Kelly, the vice president of public affairs for Texas Central, says these meetings are critical to progress.

"We're working really closely with land owners on their specific concerns and how we can accommodate and find a way to move forward," said Kelly

The Federal Rail Administration stressed to those in attendance nothing is set in stone in terms of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement.

The next meetings will be held on Tuesday:

Grimes County, Tuesday, February 6, 2018, 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Navasota Junior High School, 9038 Highway 90 South, Navasota, TX 77868.

Waller County, Tuesday, February 6, 2018, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Waller High School, 20950 Fields Store Rd, Waller, TX 77484.