Plans announced a decade ago to create a high-speed bullet train that would transport passengers between Dallas and Houston left the impression that the Texas Central High-Speed Railroad company would be working on the railroad all the livelong day.
But 10 years later, forward movement on the $30 billion project remains derailed.
The project, which quickly gained the support of national leaders, including President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, involves the construction of a 240-mile rail line that would transport millions of passengers between Dallas and Houston in 90 minutes. The project timeline, according to Texas Central’s website, projected construction to begin in 2019 and the service to be fully operational by 2026.
Instead, the company has been navigating several barriers, including efforts to raise the needed money for the project and fighting lawmakers who were not on board with the project and landowners who didn’t want to give up their property.
Eventually, the company indicated that the capital was in place, and the Supreme Court of Texas ruled in June that Texas Central had eminent domain rights to seize private property at a fair price for public use.
Progress since, however, has slowed, and the organization’s review of land records reveals that land acquisition has virtually stopped over the last two years, according to a report by The Texas Tribune.
Tom Becker, a spokesperson for Texas Central, said in a statement, per The Texas Tribune, that “Texas Central is continuing to seek further investment and is moving forward with the development of this high-speed train.”
The company is also facing another hurdle – the loss of the project leaders to carry the momentum forward. In June, before the Supreme Court’s ruling, Carlos Aguilar, who served as Texas Central’s president and CEO, announced his resignation.
As previously reported by The Dallas Express, Aguilar said in his resignation on LinkedIn: “While I could not align our current stakeholders on a common vision for a path forward, I wish the project the greatest success and remain convinced of the importance of this venture for the safety and prosperity of ALL Texans.”
Meanwhile, reportedly Texas Central’s website no longer lists any executive leaders for the project. The news source said despite pressing for more answers about the company departures, and land acquisition slowdown, Becker and the company remained tightlipped about the specifics, offering only general statements to indicate the project is still on track.
“We appreciate the continued support of our investors, lenders, and other key stakeholders, as we continue to advance this important project,” Becker said in the statement.