Texas Central Railroad and landowners to meet in Dallas County Court

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Published: Mar. 27, 2023 at 10:40 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) -Landowners and opponents along the planned route of the Texas Central high-speed train from Dallas to Houston are seeking information about the status of the project.

Attorneys representing several landowners and Texas Central Railroad are scheduled to meet on April 7 in a Dallas County courtroom to determine whether Texas Central is obligated to provide sworn answers about the project.

Attorneys for nearly 100 property owners across nine Texas counties sent a letter to the rail company in September seeking information about the status of the highly anticipated high-speed train project. Landowners along the proposed route have expressed concerns about the financial stability of the company, lack of transparency, and absence of leadership, making it difficult for them to believe that the project will move forward.

The plans for the high-speed train originated in 2014, with land acquisitions following soon after. Texas Central’s website previously stated that construction was set to begin in 2021, but opponents say they have not seen any progress from the company.

The landowners along the route have been waiting for answers for a long time and believe that they should be allowed to move on with their lives if the project is not going to happen. They also claim that the uncertainty surrounding the project has made it difficult to sell or make any modifications to their property.

Attorney Patrick McShan with Beckham Portela Trial Law says landowners and the public deserve answers about the project’s future.

“You can’t plan around uncertainty and these people don’t know what’s going on. There’s no schedule, there’s no indication of what Texas Centrals plans are. these people want to know what is going on with the project,” says McShan.

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Texans Against High-Speed Rail President and Waller County Judge trey Duhon says the lack of communication coming from Texas Central is causing uncertainty and stress for thousands of Texans across ten counties. “It impacts their daily lives. It impacts whether what they want to do with their property or what they’d like to plan to do with their property,” says Duhon.

Texas Central responded to a request for comment for the first time in several years, indicating that it did not intend to comment on the pending litigation. In court filings, Texas Central contested the landowners’ petitions, requested dismissal of the case, and asked for court costs and expenses.

Representatives with Texans Against High-Speed Rail say that it has been a decade-long struggle to obtain even basic answers about the project, causing significant stress for thousands of Texans across ten counties. Duhon says they vow to continue the fight to safeguard the property rights of Texans.

“This state was founded on private property rights. I hope we live in a state today where they still stand for something,” says Duhon. “We will be here and we will continue to stand up for the private property owners that are going to be impacted by this project until somebody finally tells us this thing is officially dead.”