Freestone County landowners speak with representatives of Texas Central Partners about the High-Speed Railway Project between Dallas and Houston…
“Probably the most important issue in this room,” observed one representative of Texas Central Partners (TCP), when picking up a flier addressing land acquisition and landowner rights.
Indeed, perhaps the most populated display during the High-Speed Rail Open House & Informational Meeting in Teague was the one mapping out the proposed locations.
The come and go meeting was held Saturday, April 18, 2015 at the Teague High School cafeteria. Those attending were able to converse one-on-one about the proposed project that will run between Dallas and Houston.
The overall mood was cordial and, although local landowners voiced concerns on how the project would affect them, information flowed freely throughout the room.
The proposed high-speed passenger railway is patterned after the Japanese Bullet Train that connects Tokyo and Osaka.
Construction is expected to begin in 2016. When completed in 2021, the Texas “bullet” train will travel 240 miles an hour, taking 400-500 passengers between Dallas and Houston in 90 minutes.
The venture is estimated to cost between $20 billion and $40 billion to build.
Although the final route yet to be finalized at this point in the project, the two proposed locations (one following existing freight trains, the other following utilities) each run to the east of Wortham and to the west of Teague in Freestone County.
According to the map, the Freight Corridor seems to continue on through the communities of Freestone and Donie.
On the other hand, the Utility route, which is currently favored by the project, would veer west into Limestone County, just a few miles south of Teague, steering clear of the smaller communities.
In any case, existing roadways will not be blocked by the project, TCP representatives confirm. “The railway will go over every road,” says one representative. “The road has to have access, and the railway has to have access.”
Landowner access is just as important, says TCP. The project includes underpasses and overpasses to ensure free movement for agricultural equipment, livestock and wildlife.
“Well, ya’ll just got it all figured out,” remarked one landowner.
For more information about the High-Speed Railway project, visit online at www.fre.dot.gov/Page/P0700
Corridor maps may be viewed at www.fra.dot.gov.Page/P0780
(Photos by Karen Leidy)
Map at right shows I-45 (purple), the preferred Utility Route (green) and Freight Route (blue)