The Texas Bullet Train team is committed to working hand-in-hand with landowners along the length of the 240-mile route, treating all parties with respect and negotiating in good faith in a fair and respectful process consistent with all Texas laws.
You can read about this commitment and the tenets that this Railroad team embraces in the Texas Landowners’ Bill of Rights.
In building the Texas Bullet Train, minimizing any disruption to the environment, landowners and communities is paramount, which is why the tracks will follow existing utility corridors and public rights-of-way as much as possible. Bullet Trains will run along elevated viaduct structures or on grade-separated berms to allow for the free movement of people, animals, vehicles and equipment from one side of the alignment to the other.
Whether elevated on a viaduct structure or not, each mile of the route is being designed with as narrow a footprint as possible to allow farming activities, livestock grazing and other surface activities to continue as they do today.
You couldn’t have chosen any better. Good experience… I’ve dealt with oil and gas people. Have not been treated well through the years at different times. But, exemplary, is just one word.
It was a pleasure working with [Texas Central representative] Beverly. We were skeptical at first, but her professionalism made us comfortable throughout the process. She has a wonderful personality and ability to explain the documents and process in a way we understood. Eh was thorough which left us without fear of any hidden ‘small print’. We felt that we were treated fairly and with respect throughout this experience. We are confident that we will continue to be treated well in all future dealing.
Both the agent representing Texas Central and one of the acquisition executives from TCP were both very responsive and even made a special visit to meet with us in our Orlando offices to work through the terms of an agreement to acquire portions of our land. We were very pleased with the financial terms of the Option Agreement we received, and with the diligence and attention to detail throughout our dealings.
I lived in my home for over 30 years; I planned on living the rest of my life there. Some things are not meant to be. I have been dealt with fair and reasonable care. The offer made to me was fair. I have found another home for my family and myself, and we are looking forward to making new memories here. Any fears I had of not being treated fairly were unfounded.
We were originally unhappy of the impact of the high-speed rail, and having to move but from the first phone call with [Texas Central land agent] Lee, she was very respectful, honest, and never tried to push us into signing anything. She just explained our options. We were very pleased with the way Lee handled the offer option and was also very friendly. The survey crews were also very respectful while they were on my property. So overall I was very pleased with Texas Central.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Where will the Railroad be aligned in my county?
The Preferred Build Alternative route for the Texas Bullet Train was identified by the Federal Railroad Administration in the its Draft Environmental Impact Statement. Informed by public comment and extensive engineering and environmental analysis, the route was identified because of its minimal impact on the environment and because it follows existing utility corridors and right of way to the maximum extent possible.
Please click below to see county-by-county maps of this alignment.
How does the Option Purchase Program work?
It is the sincere intent of this Railroad team to reach mutually agreeable terms that satisfy the desires of landowners and meet the needs of the Railroad. That is why the Railroad is committed to compensating landowners fairly, including spending the time to understand each landowner’s concerns and their unique property. As part of the process, the Railroad will consider the market value of the land, as well as take into account other unique considerations in order to determine the offer to each landowner.
The Texas Central team will work to understand how landowners use their property and how the Railroad can accommodate these uses to minimize impacts on the land.
When an offer is accepted, a portion of the agreed-upon purchase price will be paid to landowners at that time. Landowners will keep this payment whether the project ultimately needs to purchase the land or not. The landowner will then receive the remainder of the purchase amount when the project proceeds to the construction phase and the full purchase of the property is executed at the agreed upon terms.
How are safety and security issues being addressed?
Safety and security are at the heart of every decision being made to develop this system – for passengers, employees and those living along the route – which is why this Railroad will deploy the safest high-speed train technology in the world. The Shinkansen system has been in operation in Japan for more than 53 years, having carried nearly 10 billion passengers without crash or single fatality due to operations.
The Texas Central team includes industry experts with extensive experience in transportation security who are already working on security plans and procedures. Members of the project’s security team have ongoing dialogue with the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration to discuss every aspect of the project. Project representatives will also work closely with officials from the Texas Department of Public Safety, the FBI and local law enforcement.
One of the keys to the safety design, is that the Railroad will be “grade separated,” which means it will cross over or under all public roads and will have no at-grade intersections with people or vehicles. There will never be cars waiting on trains to pass and there will be no risk of trains interacting with cars. In addition, the track itself will be protected to prevent people, domestic animals or wildlife from accessing the tracks.
The Railroad team will also provide training and equipment to law enforcement and first responders along the route to help improve coordination, reaction time and enhance the capabilities of these officials.
How will this impact our access to land and to emergency services?
The question of “access” is frequently brought up around two key topics — Land Access and Emergency Services Access. From day one, this team has worked diligently to find the lowest-impact solutions to ensure that landowners will be able to access their land while also ensuring that the train lines do not adversely impact the response times of emergency services. In fact, our goal is to help improve emergency access to rural landowners wherever possible. To support this commitment, the Railroad is prepared to provide training and equipment when necessary, which will serve to improve general response times, methods for emergency access to the train line, and capabilities of emergency responders along the route.
The Texas Bullet Train team is committed to preserving access for landowners to their property.
A majority of the project will be constructed on elevated viaducts, preserving the free movement of livestock and wildlife under the train. Where the train is on a grade separated berm, access can be provided by openings along the alignment for drainage structures, wildlife crossings and public roads or other uses. Our commitment is to continue to work with each landowner in a fair and personalized manner and to take great care to accommodate the safe and convenient movement from one side of the railroad to the other.
Furthermore, as part of the overall project development processes, the Texas Central team and their representatives are meeting with landowners to discuss specific needs – including necessary underpasses or overpasses for landowners to cross the right-of-way.
What kind of environmental impact will this have on my property?
This project was planned and designed to minimize disruptions and impact to the surrounding communities and environment, which is one important reason the Tokaido Shinkansen Bullet Train system will be deployed. Once in operation, it will be the largest low emission vehicle in the United States, emitting just 1/12 the carbon per passenger mile as a typical commercial jet. Shinkansen Bullet Trains are also 6 times more efficient than car travel.
The growth in Texas and in this region have led to four of the counties (Harris, Waller, Ellis and Dallas) already reaching air quality non-attainment status. Relieving congestion with this train as the population continues exponential growth is a positive impact for these areas.
After construction, the Railroad team is committed to restoring lands surrounding the train to pre-existing conditions or improving them through beautification measures. For example, sites adjacent to a station could be repurposed for development, and sites near forested lands would be restored to pre-existing conditions and include planting native plants and trees. These beautification measures would be completed in coordination with regulations, landowners and surrounding communities.
Designs have strived to minimize the environmental impacts in order to avoid negatively impacting streams, wetlands, floodplains and other natural and cultural features. Where avoidance is not possible, an integrated mitigation plan to offset these impacts is being designed. Additionally, the project will employ best management practices such as silt fences, straw bales, swales and ponds for protecting waterways. And natural terrain will be installed to minimize runoff into any nearby bodies of water, wetlands, roads or other sensitive areas.
At completion, the natural features and vegetation will be restored along the alignment with permanent low-impact-design erosion control measures, as needed.
How do I make comments to the FRA (Federal Railroad Administration) during the Environmental Review Process?
Comments can be submitted to the FRA at any time by following instructions below:
- Provide comments directly to the FRA via the following website:
- Provide written comments to the following address: Environmental Review Process contact:
Lead Environmental Protection Specialist
Federal Railroad Administration
1200 New Jersey Ave. SE, MS-20
Washington, D.C. 20590
- Attend the Public Hearings that will be held after the release of the DEIS. People will be given time to speak and comments will be taken.
- If you are interested in receiving project updates from Texas Central, please subscribe to email updates here and monitor our website for the latest information at texascentral.com.