Montgomery County Formed a Committee to Keep the Bullet Train Out
Photo of the N700 bullet train, courtesy of JR Central
Even though Montgomery County is now out of the path of the proposed bullet train line, county officials are intent on making sure the proposed Dallas-to-Houston bullet train doesn't get anywhere near them.
The project, proposed by Texas Central Partners, will run a bullet train line from Dallas to Houston. While the proposed line was once set to go through Montgomery County, Texas Central officials announced in February that they are hoping to use land reserved for high-voltage electric transmission lines that will keep the bullet train out of Montgomery. TCP estimates the line will cost about $10 billion to build and will run from Dallas to Houston with stations in Dallas, Houston and College Station.Texas Central officials have hopes of opening for business in 2021 if all goes well.
After facing the Montgomery opposition — along with quite a bit of rural opposition to the line — TCP shifted to this new route, but Montgomery County and Magnolia city officials are still so leery of a bullet train in their area that they went ahead and formed a committee to oppose the bullet train line. Montgomery thus joined up with other towns and counties that are trying to keep the train from passing through their areas. The list now includes Grimes, Leon, Madison, Navarro and Walker counties. Some balk at the use of eminent domain to take the land while others are concerned about noise and how the train will look and what it will do to the community to have a high-speed rail line coming through.
"We are committed to opposing any routing of high-speed rail through western Montgomery County, and the regional planning commission is a tool that will help us in that goal," Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal stated, according to KBTX.
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The commission will have five members - two elected Magnolia officials appointed by the city, two elected county officials appointed by Commissioners Court, and one county citizen appointed by Commissioners Court. The county appointed Commissioners Mike Meador and Charlie Riley and Mark Castleschouldt with the Montgomery Central Appraisal District; the city of Magnolia appointed Council Members Anne Sundquist and John Bramlett.
So Magnolia and Montgomery are now ready to oppose anything bullet train-related should it try to travel through their town. Meanwhile, TCP is moving forward with the Dallas-to-Houston project. As we've previously reported, last week the company got a new CEO and a $75 million investment. That's really a drop in the bucket when you're raising $10 billion but it's a start. Either way, it doesn't look like any of that investment will end up in Montgomery County.