Just when you thought the idea of having of high speed train that can get you from Houston to Dallas in an hour and a half had fizzled out, it's now back on the table as Amtrak and Texas Central announced the are looking into new ways of making the train happen.


Way back in 2014 (yes, almost ten years ago), the idea was first proposed.  Then, there was a lot of backlash from communities and ranchers in the path of the train over eminent domain.  To give you (and myself) a refresher eminent domain law in Texas, the Institute for Justice had a great breakdown...

"In Texas, eminent domain gives the government the power to take your property, even if you don't want to sell. But under the Fifth Amendment, eminent domain must be for a “public use,” which traditionally meant projects like roads or bridges."


According to Axios Houston that issue was resolved in 2022:

"The Texas Supreme Court ruled in 2022 that Texas Central is allowed to use eminent domain to secure right-of-way for the railroad."

So, it looks like that hurdle will be cleared.  The real question is how long will it take to get this train running?  Well, back in 2014, it was a five year project.  However, no turnaround time has been named in this current project.  It also may be a more extensive project as the Houston Chronicle reports this train may cover a lot more areas than just Houston and Dallas....

"The proposed route would be about 240 miles long. The Houston end would begin at a station near the Spring Branch east area and then travel up along the northwest side of Houston through Cypress. The route would then pass through the counties of Ellis, Navarro, Freestone, Limestone, and include a stop near Leon and Madison counties. The route would include a stop near College Station for Texas A&M students before ending in downtown Dallas."

And finally, the train would not just be a faster option, but it as Axios points out it would help out the environment too...

"Amtrak says the train would save 100,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year and take 12,500 cars off Interstate 45 per day."

In conclusion, there's still a long way to go and a lot of property to cover.  Sure it's sounds great going from Houston to Dallas in under two hours, but if I was a a property owner I don't know if I'd like a high speed train going 186 per hour through my fields.

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