Eminent Domain Challenges Remain for Dallas to Houston High-Speed Rail Project

While Texas Central's plan to build a high-speed rail link between Houston and Dallas has already dealt with years of opposition from rural communities, big fights over the use of eminent domain have yet to begin.

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March 10, 2020, 9:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Jesus Jimenez and Nataly Keomoungkhoun report on the remaining legal challenges facing the use of eminent domain powers to clear the way for the Texas High-Speed Rail Train along its 240-mile route between Houston and Dallas. "The proposed route, currently under review by the Federal Railroad Administration, spans 10 counties from the Cedars neighborhood, south of downtown Dallas, to northwest Houston," according to the article.

The project has met the staunchest opposition in the rural areas between the two cities, according to the article (and as documented by Planetizen in 2014 and 2016). Jimenez and Keomoungkhoun document some of the recently political actions by Texans Against High-Speed Rail in Grimes County as well as State Rep. Steve Toth (R-The Woodlands)—the latter accusing project developer Texas Central of deception.

As for the headlining concern about eminent domain, Jimenez and Keomoungkhoun report that Texas Central is still waiting on regulatory approvals and permits from the Federal Railroad Administration and the state of Texas that would empower the railroad with the power to seize public property in return for just compensation.

Monday, March 9, 2020 in The Dallas Morning News

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