Getting from Dallas to Houston in just 90 minutes on a bullet train is one step closer to reality after opponents of the project suffered a significant setback in court Friday.
Landowners Jim and Barbara Miles are among those fighting the project, legally challenging a Texas Court of Appeals decision from last year that concluded that Texas Central could use eminent domain to take their property in exchange for its fair market value.
But Tuesday, the Texas Supreme Court declined their request to review the case.
“We believe this should clear the path for Texas Central to proceed with a high-speed train,” Marie Yates.
Yates is the attorney representing Texas Central.
The Miles are joined by other opponents of the project including Texans Against High-Speed Rail. The group released a statement which said in part:
"We are profoundly disappointed in the Texas Supreme Court's denial of Jim and Barbara Miles' petition for review. The Court has consistently and repeatedly claimed it recognizes the importance and sanctity of Texas private property rights, along with its role in protecting those rights. Its decision today says otherwise. A motion for rehearing will be filed soon."
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In addition, TAHSR board member Christie Parker said they plan to take their fight to the federal level.
Still, Yates said Texas Central is optimistic the end is in sight.
“The company has moved forward on a lot of fronts. As you know, they already have consultants in place with respect to design and construction and are already looking at contracts for construction. So I would expect that our company will be moving forward with all due haste to try to get this train built,” said Yates.
That includes continued efforts to finance the project, including the land they still have to acquire for which Yates said the price tag is unknown.
Just this week, Texas Central signed a $16 billion contract with an Italian company to build the project.
The most recent estimate for the start of construction is late this year or early next.