Neighbors fearful over high-speed rail costs

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RESIDENTS VS. RAIL: Neighbors fearful over high-speed rail costs (KTRK)

Many thought it was an impossible idea, but dozens attending tonight's public meeting on the Houston-to-Dallas bullet train are afraid it will become a reality.

Earlier in the day, Texas Central picked Northwest Mall as the train station for Houston.

RELATED: Northwest Mall picked as Houston station site for Texas Bullet Train

As crews move forward with plans for the high-speed train, families are worried it will make their lives worse, not better.

If there was anything to gauge the concern over high-speed rail, it was with the lines of people stretching out the door during the meeting.

"I'm against the Dallas-to-Houston high-speed rail project," said one concerned resident.

Elected officials also weighed in.

"For the last three years, despite multiple written request, the (Federal Railroad Administration) has flat out refused to coordinate or meet with any local government. It is with Waller County on this project," said another meeting attendee.

Stories were shared.

"We're asking and begging you, Houston, to fight for our community and not just say a preferred route, but say no build at all," one resident summed up.

Concerns were expressed.

"My subdivision has 139 houses that back up right next to 290."

And complaints were aired.

"High-speed rail is not viable in Texas."

Plans call for a proposed 90-minute ride from Dallas to Houston that will, as advocates say, will revolutionize land-based travel in Texas.

"I'm all about public transportation of some sort, and to get drivers off the road, especially texting drivers off the road. It stops me from going to Dallas. I'd go to Dallas every other week if they had a train like this," another resident said.

The FRA laid out the plan for residents during public meetings - two took place Monday night. The developer Texas Central says the rail itself will enter the northwest side of the city along Hempstead Highway and wind up on the elevated track crossing over to Northwest Mall to welcome travelers to a large train station.

The FRA, however, is in for a fight. While some want a preferred route and different access point, residents say they are worried about the increased traffic in their community and the price tag.

"We need to know what it's going to cost and we need to know quickly."

The general sentiment is that residents worry that the cost will fall back on taxpayers.

"They will go after the rich railroad loans. That is your tax money, people."

"We're going to take them off the plane and put them on this train that's going to cost the same amount. And then we're going to find 12,000 Texans to get out of the cars to pay $400 for a train. And there's no way this is going to happen."

RELATED: Bullet train from Houston to Dallas takes another step forward

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Related Topics:
traveltrainshigh speed railtexas newstown hall meetingHouston
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