Did a Judge Rule Whether or Not Texas Central is a Railroad?

No. And, FOUR Texas newspapers had to print retractions saying so.

In December 2016, State District Judge Joseph “Tad” Halbach decided the case would be heard in a trial, tentatively scheduled in July 2017. He did not rule on the merits of the case. He did not make any ruling on eminent domain authority. He did not rule against Texas Central’s assertion that it has the right to survey private property. But some newspapers were misled by the project’s opponents, who issued a press release that falsely claimed the judge had declared Texas Central was not a railroad with eminent domain authority.

Here is a copy of the judge’s two-sentence decision, which makes no commentary on the merits of the case but only sets it for trial:

As former Texas Supreme Court Justice  Craig Enoch, said in a statement:

“The news release from Texans Against High-Speed Rail does not pass legal and factual scrutiny. The judge did not issue a final ruling on Texas Central’s status as a railroad company or its power of eminent domain. The court made no decision on Texas Central operating as a bona fide railroad company. The trial will determine these issues, not this preliminary hearing.”

Papers that published stories based on the bogus release have since published corrections, including these:

Ellis County Press:

View the Correction Here:


The Corsicana Sun:

View the Correction Here:


The Mexia News:

View The Correction Here


The Red Oak Record:

View The Correction Here:


Looking ahead, the setting of a trial date does not affect or impede the company’s operations, its ongoing surveying, its land purchase program, its financial partnerships, the federal environmental assessment or any of the other developments underway.

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