High speed rail may cause landowners to give up their property

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Monday, February 3, 2020
Congressman promises to protect landowners near possible high speed rail
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The route takes the train from Houston to Dallas in 90 minutes at 186 miles per hour, however, much of the route cuts through rural, privately owned property.

GRIMES COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- A Texas congressman has promised to help those in rural counties that may be impacted by the proposed Texas High Speed rail.

Congressman Kevin Brady has recently got the attention of federal railroad administrator Ronald Batory.

Batory is seeking to hold a public hearing to listen to landowners and local officials' concerns.

Brady and another Texan congressman Ron Wright, oppose the rail due to the company's plan to seize landowners' property without their consent.

RELATED: Texas high speed bullet train project takes another step forward

Congressman Brady released a statement, saying in part "all we want is for our rural voices to be heard."

Landowners are worried about safety, damage to countryside and finances tied to the controversial project.

Landowner, Randa Calhoun said she loves her family's property in rural Grimes County. She doesn't love the idea of a high speed train, because she says based on the current planned route, it would cut her property in half. Property in which they've invested so much.

"This just is our home," said Calhoun. "There's lot of work we'd like to do, but it's difficult to put more money in not knowing what our land is going to look like in a few years if this project were to go through."

The route takes the train from Houston to Dallas in 90 minutes at 186 miles per hour.

Much of the route cuts through rural, privately owned property.

The trains would run every half hour, something Calhoun and her congressman Kevin Brady oppose.

"My main focus in on the route," Brady told ABC13. "It's so damaging to our rural communities. They believe that by cutting across lands and homes for families for generations, that it will ruin the quality of life and make it tougher economically."

READ MORE: Neighbors fearful over high-speed rail costs

In a statement to ABC13, Texas Central Railway wrote:

"Texas Central is making significant progress in bringing the nation's first true high-speed train to the United States right here in Texas. We remain committed to communicating our progress and meeting with citizens along the route, and to bringing economic benefits and jobs to these communities."

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