Federal Railroad Administration Agrees to Hold Public Hearing in Rural Texas on Controversial High-Speed Rail

This week, in a meeting in Washington, D.C., I secured a commitment from Federal Railroad Administrator Ronald Batory to hold a public hearing to seek landowners and local officials comments in the rural counties impacted by the proposed Texas High Speed Rail. The agency, which is drafting federal rules on safety and the environmental impact of the project, expects to announce in February the proposed rules and to begin to seek public comments.   

Texas Congressman Ron Wright and I oppose the contentious high speed rail project, and are fighting Texas Central Railroad’s efforts to obtain eminent domain power from Washington to seize Texas landowners’ property without their consent. 

I was encouraged by the meeting:

All we want is for our rural voices to be heard. Administrator Batory is committed to reaching out beyond just Dallas and Houston to hear directly from our landowners and community leaders about the impact on our rural communities including safety worries, damage to our rural countryside, and documented questions about the financial shakiness of this controversial project.

The FRA is expected to announce the public hearing sites and dates as the draft rules are announced.


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