The high-speed train that promises to transport passengers between Dallas and Houston in 90 minutes has been approved by the Federal Railroad Administration according to Texas Central Railroad, the company in charge of the project.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration issued the two key rulings, which provide the regulatory framework and the environmental review for the high-speed train, that Texas official were waiting on to move forward with the project, according to the company. The announcement was first reported by the Houston Chronicle.
Texas Central expects to start construction in the first half of 2021. The federal Surface Transportation Board still must approve the project before construction can begin.
The rulings announced Monday brought cheers from leaders in Dallas and Houston, but criticism from project opponents along the path the train could take to connect the cities.
Although the company had to lay off 28 workers due to the coronavirus-related financial crisis in March, Texas Central Railroad had described the project as “shovel ready” and waiting for the federal government’s approval.
According to an article in “The Dallas Morning News,” the opposition arises in areas in between the cities. Certainly, these property owners have nothing to be excited about.
Interesting is the concern voiced by many of their fear that people who live in areas near the proposed route will see their property values drop. This is true “consequential” damage similar to having a high voltage power line placed across your backyard. The takings will also most probably cause severance damages to the remainder. Typical severance damage is loss of access.