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Texas lawmaker fails in bid to end Dallas-to-Houston rail proposal


A Texas state lawmaker failed last week in his attempt to use the state's budget process to kill Texas Central Railway's proposal for a privately funded high-speed rail line between Dallas and Houston.

State Sen. Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown) came up short in the votes needed to ban the use of state tax funds to support construction of the proposed rail line, which would operate between Dallas and Houston. Earlier this month, Schwertner added a rider to the state budget bill that would have restricted the Texas Department of Transportation's involvement in the project once the environmental impact study is completed.

Supporters of the rail proposal say that Schwertner's rider would have had the effect of killing the project. A legislative budget conference committee resolved the issue, however.

"Texas Central is grateful for the vote … in the Conference Committee on the budget," Texas Central Railway officials said in a prepared statement. "We believe it is a vote that embraces private enterprise's commitment to provide innovative solutions to the infrastructure needs of a prosperous and growing Texas. We recognize that this was a split vote and respect those who voiced their concerns. We pledge to establish an open dialogue to address those concerns."

Texas Central Railway officials have said repeatedly that the rail project, estimated to cost $10 billion to $15 million according to local media reports, will be paid for with private dollars.

To learn more about Texas Central Railway, read this story that appeared in Progressive Railroading.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/26/2015