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Report: 14 billion dollar deal for Bullet train from Houston to Dallas is done


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19 hours ago, elfenix said:

Texas Supreme Court declines the case, Texas Central is a railroad under Texas law so can use eminent domain:


https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/transportation/article/Texas-Supreme-Court-sides-with-bullet-train-16258265.php
 

Does that decision make it subject to additional railroad regulation?

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Whatever happened to the railroads just sending in the pinkertons to “convince” locals to give up their property for the good of the state?
I assume that the landowners will attempt to tie this up in federal court next.

He is going to BBQ them to submission?
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On 6/20/2021 at 10:57 AM, Viper said:

Does that decision make it subject to additional railroad regulation?

not sure what you're getting at.  it's subject to whatever the regulations are for railroads, particularly those operating at high speeds (which in the US is none but i'd guess the regulations have been written). 

but that's not what the case was about.  the case was about whether texas central & co are railroads/interurban electric railways.  that's important because those types of entity have the power of eminent domain conferred on them by the state.  the landowner was complaining that they don't own any track or operate anything at all, so how can they be railroads?  answer is that the law isn't that dumb and yes, a company that doesn't operate any physical railroad right now but intends to do so in the future is, in fact, a railroad for purposes of condemning property.  there's another argument that an interurban electric railway can't be high speed under state law because the texas HSR act was repealed in 1995, but that was also denied by the appellate court. 

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vox piece on why it costs so damn much to get anything built here (this bit is ragey):

Quote

“There are egregious examples of this,” SPUR’s transportation policy director Laura Tolkoff told me. “One person sued the San Francisco bicycle plan over parking losses which basically held up 34 miles of bike lanes for over four years. Over 2,000 individuals were injured during that same time period due to collision while riding their bicycle.”

In Tolkoff’s example, the state’s environmental protection law was being used to defend a parking lot.

https://www.vox.com/22534714/rail-roads-infrastructure-costs-america

Edited by elfenix
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Not egregious or rage-inducing. If i invest in parking lots and stand to lose money through a new bicycle plan, I’m using whatever means at my disposal to ensure that plan doesn’t happen. 

Sure but that extreme due process is the point of why shit is so expensive to build here. Compare to China where some CCP flack decides a train line is going thru your house, they just build it. And they LOL at environmental impact studies.

I’m kinda OK with the tradeoff.
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  • 11 months later...

Holy shit, did not see this coming.  They are trying to make this happen.

https://www.kxan.com/news/texas/scotx-says-company-can-use-eminent-domain-for-bullet-train-project/

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A ruling by the Supreme Court of Texas Friday allows the private groups behind the proposed bullet train between Houston and Dallas to use eminent domain to take land for the project.

The ruling said Chapter 131 of the Texas Transportation Code grants eminent domain authority to an “interurban electric railway company,” which is a corporation-chartered electric railway between cities in Texas for the transportation of freight, passengers, or both.

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The company, Texas Central, has control of three stations in Houston, Dallas and near College Station. It said the trip between Houston and Dallas will take less than 90 minutes.

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Texas Central also has control over a lot of the land for the route, but some landowners have sued to block the construction.

James Fredrick Miles, who owns property along the railway’s proposed route, sued after Texas Central attempted to survey his property. A trial court granted summary judgment for Miles.

Quote

But Friday, the Supreme Court sided with Texas Central 5-3, saying they do qualify as both a railroad company and an interurban electric railway company.

This ruling means they can take that land for the project for public use, and pay landowners for it, even if the landowner objects.

 

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On 6/25/2022 at 1:44 PM, atomheartbevo said:

They are trying to make this happen.

i wonder if this is too late, not sure if this project is anything more than a zombie now. 

but now there is precedent so if the french want to come in and build one* they should be able to rely on it. 

 

*any time you saw bitching about this project in court or the media that it wasn't compatible with global standards, you can be sure SNCF was behind that. 

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5 hours ago, Porterhouse said:

Right before 2 Amtrak derailments. Awesome. Anyway, given jet fuel hiking prices up, terrible air service, and nutty passengers, I’d probably check out this service. Never got into Vonlane. Took too long. 

this wouldn't have grade crossings so morons sitting on tracks wouldn't be as much of an issue. 

HSR in the texas triangle extending up to OKC and maybe tulsa makes too much sense to ever happen.  a spur out to new orleans so you can hop on a train in houston and be in NO in under 3 hours with stops in big money, LC, lafayette, and red stick is a fantasy.  houston to red stick the morning of a game between the longhorns and tigers, i'd be half in the bag before getting off the train and ready to smell some corndogs

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9 hours ago, elfenix said:

this wouldn't have grade crossings so morons sitting on tracks wouldn't be as much of an issue. 

HSR in the texas triangle extending up to OKC and maybe tulsa makes too much sense to ever happen.  a spur out to new orleans so you can hop on a train in houston and be in NO in under 3 hours with stops in big money, LC, lafayette, and red stick is a fantasy.  houston to red stick the morning of a game between the longhorns and tigers, i'd be half in the bag before getting off the train and ready to smell some corndogs

3 hours sounds entirely too long

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the US used to be the world leader in building railroads. now we completely suck ass at it.  this project, at least, is mostly conceived and managed by foreigners who know what they're doing. 

Quote

Amtrak Spent 11 Years and $450 Million to Save Acela Riders 100 Seconds

 
Meanwhile, France built a brand new 210-mile high speed rail line with a max speed of 200 mph in six years.

https://www.vice.com/en/article/wxn8qx/amtrak-spent-11-years-and-dollar450-million-to-save-acela-riders-100-seconds

Edited by elfenix
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5 minutes ago, Nice Guy Eddie said:

Major infrastructure can be hard to measure. 

 

That's one way of looking at it.  The other would be that the shits in charge intentionally lie about the cost, even as the entire public is in their face screaming there's no way it's that cheap. 

 

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17 minutes ago, Nice Guy Eddie said:

Major infrastructure can be hard to measure. The Katy Freeway in Houston was rebuilt for close to $3B and commute times have remained the same. It may handle more vehicles but no one is getting to work/home faster. Of course without that project, the times would most likely be worse today.

No doubt it’d be worse. When did KF rebuild construction start?  20 years ago?  Metro Houston has probably nearly doubled since then. 

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13 minutes ago, Porterhouse said:

No doubt it’d be worse. When did KF rebuild construction start?  20 years ago?  Metro Houston has probably nearly doubled since then. 

There is also an argument that the Katy-area subdivisions wouldn't have been built at the same pace if the freeway rebuild wasn't done in the first place. 

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1 hour ago, Nice Guy Eddie said:

There is also an argument that the Katy-area subdivisions wouldn't have been built at the same pace if the freeway rebuild wasn't done in the first place. 

Going with the Austin "if we don't build it, they will not come" thinking. Bold strategy. 

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11 minutes ago, clapclapclap said:

Probably not going to happen, the company's leadership has bailed.  They were counting on mostly investment from the Japanese govt and its related rail industries, but they are no longer gung ho about it.

LUV is still and always the answer to mobility in a big place like Texas.

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On 6/28/2022 at 3:39 PM, Nice Guy Eddie said:

Major infrastructure can be hard to measure. The Katy Freeway in Houston was rebuilt for close to $3B and commute times have remained the same. It may handle more vehicles but no one is getting to work/home faster. Of course without that project, the times would most likely be worse today.

 

but they got those 4 toll lanes in there !

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On 6/28/2022 at 3:39 PM, Nice Guy Eddie said:

Major infrastructure can be hard to measure. The Katy Freeway in Houston was rebuilt for close to $3B and commute times have remained the same. It may handle more vehicles but no one is getting to work/home faster. Of course without that project, the times would most likely be worse today.

matchstick aggybox sprawl up and down 99 would not be possible without i-10.   there's your profit.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Unfortunately, the pandemic killed this project.  They lost their equity commitments and will never be able to finance this thing.  I heard this level 2 from someone who use to work at Texas Central.  Go to the website, there is no executive team listed; They don't have anyone working on this anymore.  Now if the federal government actually wanted a a real shovel ready infrastructure project...

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20 hours ago, heinhorn said:

Unfortunately, the pandemic killed this project.  They lost their equity commitments and will never be able to finance this thing.  I heard this level 2 from someone who use to work at Texas Central.  Go to the website, there is no executive team listed; They don't have anyone working on this anymore.  Now if the federal government actually wanted a a real shovel ready infrastructure project...

I think the random ass stop in College Station killed this project. I was all on board until I heard this dumassery. I'm glad its dead. 

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On 6/28/2022 at 3:39 PM, Nice Guy Eddie said:

Major infrastructure can be hard to measure. The Katy Freeway in Houston was rebuilt for close to $3B and commute times have remained the same. It may handle more vehicles but no one is getting to work/home faster. Of course without that project, the times would most likely be worse today.

That's as much a function of the idiot drivers as the actual infrastructure.  You could build 20 lanes in each direction and dumbasses would still be going 55 in the far left lanes.

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On 8/23/2022 at 11:32 AM, texashorne said:

I think the random ass stop in College Station killed this project. I was all on board until I heard this dumassery. I'm glad its dead. 

Meh…they have 60k+ students now, so if it did it once a day to allow kids from the metros easy access to their hometowns plus a few special trains for home football games then it would have been fine.  It they stopped there every trip then it would have been moronic.

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8 hours ago, TKthunder2 said:

Meh…they have 60k+ students now, so if it did it once a day to allow kids from the metros easy access to their hometowns plus a few special trains for home football games then it would have been fine.  It they stopped there every trip then it would have been moronic.

It was going to stop there every trip. And what were those students going to do in College Station when it did? Hop on the subway to their dorms?

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 8/25/2022 at 2:13 PM, Nice Guy Eddie said:

There seems to be differing opinions about the status of the company. They have money and now the right to take land via eminent domain. Those two assets are fairly formidable.

My info was a bit dated, maybe 12 months plus old.  Where are you hearing that they have money to start buying land?

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  • 4 months later...
On 6/29/2022 at 3:58 PM, Johnny Sack said:

…given that self driving cars are imminent.

I remember when people said shit like this at parties 10 years ago except they were completely serious

Edited by B00M
Holy shit sorry for the necro bump. No idea how I even found this thread
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This is the most recent (October) article that I can find with new info about Texas Central Rail: https://www.texastribune.org/2022/10/27/texas-high-speed-rail-dallas-houston/

The lawyer fighting them seems to want to prove that they're not a going concern.  While the rail company says they're moving forward, they're also not actively buying properties as they had planned.

At some point, we need someone in the US to build a dedicated high speed line to determine the long term feasibility. Texas Central looked promising. They have purchased land and worked through the court cases and federal regulations. But then they halted. Not to get political but having a Dem President would seem to be a positive element for them. 

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