News on the Dallas-Houston bullet train has been relatively quiet recently, but things are slowly starting to move forward on the project. The train quietly hit a new milestone in its progress towards construction. Although not expected to actually start construction until 2021, a new ruling from the Federal Railroad Administration has approved a Rule of Particular Applicability. The RPA will allow the Texas Central Railroad to move forward with the train’s Final Environmental Impact Statement, which is a key requirement for the train to begin construction.
The controversial project has been slow moving since its announcement in 2014 and routes were approved in fall of 2015. Since then the 200mph bullet train has faced a lot of pushback, not from those in Houston or Dallas but from those living in between along the train route. The train has struggled to obtain all the land needed to complete the project as landowners try to fight Eminent Domain process.
The main opposition of the project is sought to halt Texas Central’s ability to obtain land by claiming that since no track had yet been laid it wasn’t technically a railroad. In turn it could not claim land as a transportation project from landowners. This argument was ultimately not enough to stop the project and recently a summary judgment from 2017 preventing Texas Central from performing any surveys that alter or damage county roads was overturned last month.
Surely more issues will arise to try and prevent the train from ever seeing the light of day, but so far nothing has fully stopped the project as it slowly marches towards breaking ground on construction.