TEXAS CENTRAL SAYS HIGH-SPEED RAIL GIVEN FINAL GO-AHEAD BY FEDERAL OFFICIALS

  

The company planning to build a high-speed rail connecting Houston and Dallas in 90 minutes with one stop in Grimes County says it has received final approval from federal officials.

In a press release this (Monday) morning, Texas Central Railroad (TCR) announced the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has released the final Record of Decision (ROD) and Rule of Particular Applicability (RPA).  The ROD completes the federal environmental review process, while the RPA gives the framework for the safety requirements of the Japanese-developed trains.

While federal officials have not confirmed the final approvals, Texas Central said the full ROD and RPA will soon be published in the Federal Register.  The company said it is “ready to build and will proceed to construction as soon as possible to contribute to the nation’s COVID-19 recovery”.

The project has faced scrutiny and opposition from citizens and representatives in the counties along the proposed route of the high-speed rail, which would include a stop in the Roans Prairie area of Grimes County.  Last week, the organization Texans Against High Speed Rail claimed the company has deeded property from Texas landowners to the Japanese government through an offshore entity set up in the Cayman Islands.

In each county, including Grimes, Leon, Madison, and Waller Counties, the company filed a “Deed of Trust, Assignment of Leases and Rents, Security Agreement and Fixture Filing” relating to property owned by Texas Central in that county.  The beneficiary of these Deeds of Trust, according to Texans Against High Speed Rail, is an off-shore entity named “Japan Texas High-Speed Railway Cayman GP”.

The organization said it appears Texas Central was required by the Japanese government to put up the land as collateral for the loan owed to them, but did not disclose this offshore beneficiary to any of the landowners it convinced to sign an option contract, nor did it disclose plans to use the property purchased through the option contacts to secure a loan from the Japanese government.

State Representative Ben Leman responded to the matter in a statement, seen below:

“I am simply appalled,” said State Representative Ben Leman. “Since their conception, Texas Central has lied to its investors and Texans about this project. First, they said this project would cost $10 billion, yet now we learn their estimated costs have ballooned out of control to $30 billion. Second, Texas Central said this project would be privately-funded and they would not ask for government grants for construction or public money to subsidize operations. Yet, this is no longer true either; as they have admitted to actively seeking funding through a federal stimulus bill being pushed by Nancy Pelosi and the Green New Deal. Lastly, they claim to be a Texas company, yet they deeded the property acquired through threat of eminent domain and false pretenses to the Japanese Government. That is not a Texan thing to do and Texas Central must be stopped before other Texans and Texas taxpayers end up on the hook for their web of lies and misinformation. Many of my constituents’ family members fought and died for the very land they own. To take their land and give it to a foreign government under these circumstances is an insult to not only these families, but to every single Texan that cares about private property rights and our culture.”

Critics have argued the project will ruin the character of rural communities, and say they expect lawsuits to stop construction on the project.

Update @ 2:15 p.m.: Texans Against High Speed Rail released a statement today in response to the FRA’s release of the ROD and RPA, which it said marks “the beginning, not the end, of TCR’s regulatory journey”.  The organization said the FRA’s actions “clear the way for legal challenges” concerning the project’s environmental impact and financial feasibility.

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20 Comments

  1. My question is the right of way for train and it’s easement are how big ? 260 mile by how wide 120’ or 250’ or? Maybe for small parcel this is devastating but for large 100 acres plus maybe not so. If Kva transmission is accessible on emergency basis by local power entities that would’ve good. Surely as construction moves through those areas land will be sold for profits by families wanting to move but never had a buyer. Progress cannot be stopped completely based on what if’s and second guesses. I’m a 7th generation Texan And moving forward is definitely the wave of the future.

  2. I see no difference in this an roads and highways. We need road, highways, railroads, airports, and other infrastructure. Texas doesn’t want to build highways so they push toll roads owned by private companies.

    This is no different. If the State of Texas is not going to pay to build it this is what we get. This company is getting their financing anywhere they can just like all companies. If you don’t like it then the State of Texas ought to pony up the money to build it. Infrastructure for the economy and citizens is a basic responsibility of the State.

  3. This is another liberal government seed that has again been planted by libs at the state level. The same lib mentality are planting their lib seeds in Brenham’s local government. Working class Americans get up early and are busting their butts to make a living and just survive. Especially, small business owners. These government libs are lifetime government managers and directors that make great speeches and convince elected officials to create stringent government regulations on the working class tax payers. Elected officials better wake up and realize that these lib seeds that are planted by lib government managers, directors, city planners, are Weeds. All you need to do is look at Brenham’s recent sign ordinance, this is only one local lib weed seed of many. The lib train is being forced on working class business in Texas. The same government libs are affecting small town America. Local politicians better look and read what local planners are planting before we all wake up in a weed garden and it is too late.

    1. Definitely is time for working class to form a coalition and drain the swamp. Time for the working class to flood the elected officials with letters and to inform the elected officials what they should know. Time to Drain the swamp of all elected officials and government overpaid managers directors planners who fail to do their jobs or overstep their boundaries. Taxpayers must sound their voices.

  4. If a company organized and went into business, selling shares of stock to finance its purchase or acquisition of land in order to build a railroad, that would be one thing. If the company fails or runs into financial troubles, they can either dilute the stock and try to sell more, or belly up and call it quits. However, this bunch has played all ends to the middle. Many people have been sold on the quick time of transportation between Houston and Dallas, but what happens when you get to your destination? If you don’t have a vehicle, you’re at the mercy of public transportation (which no one really wants to use) or rideshare services such as Uber. As far as ticket prices, I have never heard any amounts quoted. As well, don’t think that if you have a CHL that you’re going to be able to take a weapon on board–Greyhound buses won’t let you even have one in your baggage, and Amtrak (while it is a government entity) relegates weapons and ammunition to locked baggage. Obviously, there will have to be a parking facility at both stations, and I’m sure those prices are going to be quite hefty. My guess is that this project will be much like that of British Airways and its Concord in that it will be a novelty for a while, but costs will rise and become more than most people are willing to spend, or the schedule will not coincide with their plans. After people make the trip several times, they will likely trade the time saved for the convenience of having their own vehicle once they arrive. I’m sure that these officials with the company already know that they can apply and possibly receive federal or state monies to keep them afloat, or if worse comes to worse, the foreign investors will then own the land and there will be an entire blight of tracks and other infrastructure littering the route from Houston to Dallas. What if the Japanese sell out to a Chinese company? should foreign governments be allowed to own our infrastructure? Has anyone ever said whether this company will carry light cargo, such as easily-handled items that may be needed in one city or another and that could benefit from quick transportation?
    I do agree with “Anti-Propaganda” in that this is a form of urbanization–one in which the rural landowners have been sacrificed to pay for the wants of those in the urban areas.

  5. I think it’s cool, we can’t ride around on horseback forever. I hate taking anyone’s land even a small amount without their consent but at the same time these things usually end up for the better for landowners. I have seen many many land grabs where it was actually the best thing that could’ve happened to the land owner, they end up making huge Improvements to the property and have money that they never would’ve had.

    1. Is it your land that is involved, or are you personally going to be impacted by the noise pollution and inconveniences of having this so called rail road gping across your property? You might very well have a different opinion if it were you.

  6. I see no difference between this railroad and new highways being constructed. It’s all part of the change that comes with growth.

  7. Final go ahead?
    So what about the full application to STB?
    What about the Miles case as the District court ruling of not a railroad is still in effect until Supreme court over turns it or refuses to hear the case?
    But to the reporter please explain your head line as its one of the most misleading comments in the world. Even if they had 30 bil in the bank today THEY CANNOT PUT A shovel in the ground until STB that will oversee the construction gets the application and approves it

  8. Ben Leman can blame this deal on Pelosi all he wants but the facts are: High Speed rail in Texas was pushed by Former Harris County Judge Robert Echols (GOP) and, back In January 2017, President Donald Trump’s administration listed the project as a national transportation infrastructure priority. Blame needs to go to ALL who supported this project.

    1. Not calling your information false, but this land grab goes Way Farther Back then “2017”.So, there are more pushers of this. Going back to the Obama administration. A Lot of the investments and influence are from that Democratically controlled administration. The same in which that is pushing the so called “green deal”. And bringing up the possibility that Trump or a GOP Judge from Harris County have shown an interest in this, doesn’t dismiss the Truths of how Deceitful and Forceful this company has been to Property Owners. Nor, the Facts of a Foreign Government Now Holding Deeds to Land in Texas!

  9. Since the beginning it was going to go through, heck the depot in roans prairie has already been built a year ago. It didn’t matter what the land owners wanted. Its about money and that is it. I did hear, I live out that way, that Japanese investors did own the right of way now. Thanks Texas congressman!

    1. A station in Roans Prairie has yet to be designed or approved, let alone constructed. This company has no approval to turn one shovel of dirt on any property, even if they own it.

    2. I live in Roans Prairie. They have not constructed a depot. They do own the land where it is proposed to be built

  10. This is sad and disgusting and an affront to every person working hard to keep and maintain the land they own! It sickens me for the families that are caught up in this farce! I don’t know how they are managing to not become bitter. To find out that now their land has been given to the Japanese government as collateral for this loan must be so infuriating. The government has failed these land owners!

    1. I do not know of anyone in Madison County that can talk about this online unless we use tons of profanity. At a meeting at Madison County there were hundreds of people there. A spokesperson asked who all was against……….Literally hundred stood. When asked who was in favor, the 4 people working for the railroad stood.

    2. Absolutely! Almost every recent toll road was built by, is owned by and is operated by foreign companies. Even worse is that these projects destroy family farms &.ranches. Follow the $$$$

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