BCS Chamber of Commerce advocates for high-speed rail through Brazos Valley

WASHINGTON, D.C. (KBTX) - All week long, Bryan/College Station representatives are visiting the nation's capitol to talk to lawmakers about issues residents care about. One of the hot button topics, local transportation issues, came up Tuesday.

"Successful commerce follows the rivers, the roadways, the highways, the railways," said Glen Brewer, president and CEO of the Bryan/College Station Chamber of Commerce.

That's why Brewer says in general and in theory, his organization supports a high-speed rail that would run through the Brazos Valley.

"We see that as the future," Brewer said. "We see that as pro-growth."

But Brewer is clear, his organization is not taking a stance on the specific bullet train project proposed by Texas Central.

"Putting it together, you know there's always going to be problems in the details," said Brewer. "So we're not saying how they should do it."

Still, the Chamber is in Washington, D.C. this week showing their theoretical support for high-speed rail. They're talking to lawmakers like Congressman Bill Flores (R-District 17), who represents many residents who would be affected by the proposed bullet train.

"We have a divided constituency in District 17," said Rep. Flores.

Rep. Flores says urban areas in his district mostly like the idea, while his rural residents don't want to lose their land to this project through eminent domain.

"Texas Central Rail, if they want to have a high-speed rail project, needs to work with the landowners on issues related to eminent domain," said Rep. Flores. "Also it shouldn't be funded with taxpayer funding. Other than that, I'm very neutral on this at this point."

As for Chamber of Commerce leaders, they're not neutral on what they call a necessary step forward.

"We support the high-speed rail," Brewer said. "We want it as close to us as possible. Because if you're not on the route and you miss it this time, you're not going to get another chance."