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Rail News: High-Speed Rail

Texas firm slates public meetings to discuss proposed high-speed rail plan


Texas Central Partners, the company that wants to build a bullet-train service between Dallas and Houston, will host 12 information sessions about the proposed project this month in several Texas cities.

The meetings are designed for the public to learn more about the project, as well as to ask project-related questions or express concerns to the company's management.

The meetings — the first of which will be held April 9 in Lancaster, Texas — are not part of the proposal's ongoing federal Environmental Impact Statement process, which is being led by the Federal Railroad Administration, Texas Central officials said in a press release.

The $10 billion project would be privately funded.

Texas Central officials also called on the public to express support for the project to state legislators, who are considering legislation — introduced by a critic of the project — that would require elected officials of every city and county along the proposed route to approve the project. The project is facing opposition in some rural communities.

"This private-enterprise project will neither seek nor accept government grants or subsidies for construction or operation," said Texas Central Chief Executive Officer Richard Lawless.

According to Lawless, the project would:
• require about 10,000 new construction jobs during each of the four years of the building phase;
• ensure easy and frequent access from one side of the tracks to the other through frequent underpasses and elevated track; and
• use existing rights of way as much as possible, then negotiate with private landowners when necessary.

"As a private company, Texas Central has more flexibility than governments to negotiate," Lawless said. "Eminent domain is the last resort."

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/6/2015