Prompted by concerns of private landowners, the $12 billion plan for a bullet train to connect Houston to Dallas might soon be getting struck down by the Texas Senate in a bill. The Texas Central High-Speed Railway had planned for this privately financed bullet train to transport passengers in 90 minutes from Houston to Dallas, with one stop in College Station. Without taking any public subsidies, Texas Central has proudly wanted to be the first company in Texas to first high-speed railway since 2012.
Hoping to have the train running by 2021, Texas Central received strong support from residents from Houston and Dallas, but they have also received strong opposition from rural communities on the bullet route and the Senate. Republican Senator Lois Kolkhorst maintains the concern that landowners would lose their land for a project that she says will most likely fail. Other Senators followed suite by expressing their concern that “a private company was going to use the eminent domain authority for a for-profit venture.” Eminent domain would essentially give Texas Central the ability to override the needs and wants of residents near the bullet system’s route. Numerous of these private landowners do not want to sell their land, despite any asking price.
So far, Senate representatives are splitting on whether or not to support Senate Bill 1601, which would strip the project of eminent domain authority-
“Four Republicans joined Kolkhorst in voting for the bill: Transportation Chairman Robert Nichols of Jacksonville, Troy Fraser of Horseshoe Bay, Kelly Hancock of North Richland Hills and Bob Hall of Edgewood. Voting against the bill were two Houston Democrats, Rodney Ellis and Sylvia Garcia, and two North Texas Republicans, Don Huffines of Dallas and Van Taylor of Plano.”