Lawmakers discuss pros and cons of high-speed rails

Updated: May. 6, 2021 at 5:50 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (KBTX) - US lawmakers spent Thursday talking about high-speed rail in our country.

Among those who testified were Texas Central Rail CEO, Carlos Aguilar, and Waller County Judge Trey Duhon III.

Aguilar shared his thoughts with congress on how vital the rails, like the one his company is planning from Houston to Dallas, are.

“The most travel between them is I45, with one of the highest fatality rate per mile of any highway in the country,” said Aguilar.

Duhon testified saying how unhappy he is with the planning done on this railroad.

“If it is built, the project will hit rural and minority communities along the proposed route like mine the hardest, including the other end of the proposed route of south Dallas where entire low-income minority neighborhoods would be displaced because only one route was ever considered,” said Duhon.

Aside from quicker, safer transportation and creating new jobs, congress asked Aguilar what these communities will gain along the route.

“We will provide some additional services, broadband being one. Our plan is to have broadband alongside our alignment for up to 30 miles on either side of it offered to the population,” said Aguilar.

The project was expected to be finished this year but has dealt with major setbacks. Duhon testified his concern about the delays and the change of budget.

“Before you decide to put billions of taxpayer dollars to building this private project, consider why you should take this company’s word that the project is around the corner and feasible,” said Duhon.

Despite those setbacks, Aguilar says the $24 billion project is shovel-ready.

“We have secured the station sites and another land for the project. This is why we’re ready to get shovels in the ground and to help transform American transportation and fulfill the process of high tech jobs in the economy,” said Aguilar.

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