Mar 21st 2022 | Posted in Transportation by Texas Government Insider

The Texas Supreme Court is expected to decide the future of a high-speed railway connection between the state’s two most powerful economic centers by this summer.
shinkansen bullet train2 Texas Supreme Court on track to rule on high speed rail authority by June

Shinkansen Bullet Train

The Texas Central Railway (Texas Central) aims to connect the Dallas and Houston areas with sub-90 minute passenger rail service. However, this plan — developed by a Japanese company with a record of successful high-speed train projects in its country — was brought before the highest court in Texas over issues of eminent domain. The court’s January 11 hearing marked the most recent proceeding in a flurry of legal actions surrounding the high-speed rail proposal.

The legal dispute began after a private Texas landowner did not concede a portion of his property for use in Texas Central’s railway plan. After a Leon County trial judge initially ruled in favor of the landowner, Texas Central successfully appealed that ruling in the Court of Appeals for the Thirteenth District.
In response, the landowner successfully petitioned the Texas Supreme Court for review in 2020, which led to the recent January hearing. Progress on Texas Central Railway has since been halted for judicial review. These proceedings have delayed the project’s anticipated timeline that originally started with construction in 2021 and operations beginning in 2026.
Meanwhile, both the landowner and Texas Central continue to garner support in the form of amicus briefs filed with the court. The court will weigh these arguments while deciding if the $20 billion railway project is an operating railroad company or interurban electric rail company, a standing that would grant it eminent domain authority.
Texas Supreme Court officials said their docket is on schedule for completion by this June, although the court’s ruling on the plan could end up being appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.