Trump lists Houston-Dallas bullet train among priorities
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump’s administration released a list of its infrastructure priorities throughout the nation. Among the list, obtained by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, was Texas Central’s controversial bullet train, which would connect Houston to the Dallas/Fort Worth area via a 90-minute commute.
According to the project’s description, the high-speed train would have the potential to serve more than 50,000 Texas residents who regularly commute between the two cities. The rail would cut the average travel time of the 240-mile trip in half.
The construction of the bullet train will cost an estimated $12 billion and is expected to create 40,000 direct jobs, according to the proposal.
However, the impending construction of the bullet train has been met with opposition from representatives of both regions, as well as from rural Texans who fear Texas Central will seize their land for the route, according to an article by the Texas Tribune.
Since the project concerns a private company, Texas legislators asked whether the power of eminent domain would be extended to Texas Central, according to the article. Eminent domain is the right of a government agency to take private land for public use and requires the agency in question to compensate the landowner.
According to the Texas Tribune, Texas Central responded by stating that the Texas Constitution and other legislative statutes have historically allowed for the extension of eminent domain to companies taking on similar infrastructure projects. Texas law grants eminent domain to high-speed rails, just as it does to other railroads.
“We believe it is clear that Texas law allows these proceedings for efforts that provide for a public good and a strong economy,” the statement said.
Further discussion regarding the future of the project is expected during the state’s 85th Legislative Session, which began on Jan. 10.