Four members of the state legislature from the Brazos Valley are among 28 who have asked the U.S. transportation secretary to stop the Texas Central high speed passenger train project.
State representative Ben Leman of Iola cites financing issues and recent layoffs at Texas Central due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.
Quoting a portion of the letter signed by Leman, representatives Kyle Kacal of College Station and Trent Ashby of Lufkin, and state senator Charles Schwertner of Georgetown, whose districts include portions of the Texas Central (TCRR) project:
“The cost to construct the proposed project is estimated to be over $20 billion. Given the project is still in the planning phase and TCRR does not anticipate earning revenue until construction is completed, the statements above reveal TCRR clearly does not and will not have the funding to conduct the planning or construction phases of this project in the foreseeable future.
Additionally, TCRR clearly no longer has the expertise on staff to adequately respond to comments being made during the comment period regarding the proposed rules and safety standards for this project. This, in turn, means TCRR ultimately does not have the ability to carry out the responsibilities and duties as proposed recently under FRA’s rule of particular applicability to establish safety standards for the TCRR high speed rail system.
Thus, we respectfully call upon yourself, the Surface Transportation Board (STB) and the FRA to immediately suspend the rule making process currently being conducted by the FRA on this project as well as deny the petition currently being considered by the STB.”
Texas Central’s president told the Dallas Morning News the bullet train between Dallas and Houston is shovel ready, and they will proceed when permits are finalized and financial markets are stabilized.
The state lawmakers joined congressman Kevin Brady, whose district also includes the Texas Central project, in calling for federal agencies to stop the project so they can concentrate on the pandemic.
Click HERE to read and download the letter submitted by members of the Texas legislature.
Click HERE to read and download the letter submitted by Congressman Kevin Brady.
Click below for comments from Ben Leman, visiting with WTAW’s Bill Oliver.
Listen to “Brazos Valley state lawmakers among those calling on the federal government to stop Texas Central's bullet train application” on Spreaker.