The Woodlands, March 5 – Precinct 3 County Commissioner James Noack will appear in a special interview on KPRC Channel 2 News at 10 p.m., CST, Monday, March 6, 2017, to criticize the proposed high speed rail project which the Texas Legislature is considering for central Texas. Although the project would be privately owned and operated by Texas Central Partners, L.L.C. (TCP), in conjunction with Central Japan Railway Company (JRC), the State of Texas would need to help the privately-owned company to seize private Texas property by eminent domain.
Commissioner Noack has accused the State of “helping a private corporation to engage in a land grab. Unlike eminent domain, which usually involves the seizure of private property for a public purpose with just compensation, this situation is a total abuse of eminent domain. There is no public purpose and these seizures will benefit private shareholders of a private company.” Noack noted that United States Congressman and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-The Woodlands) opposes the proposed high-speed rail project.
“They’ll bypass the two largest communities between Houston and Dallas – Montgomery County and Walker County – and they’ll bisect and destroy many fine central Texas farms and ranches. It’s a pipe dream. Allowing a private company to seize private land is unheard of,” Noack said.
TCP’s website, www.texascentral.com, explains some of the plans for the high speed rail company albeit euphemistically. TPC explained that it will build the high speed rail across private property in conjunction with JRC, which operates bullet trains in Japan. The company explained, “The N700-I Bullet total system is the international version of the Tokaido Shinkansen total system currently in operation between Tokyo and Osaka, Japan. This international version will feature the core system – passenger train, overhead catenary, tracks, signaling – along with all of the corresponding maintenance and operations procedures that have made Tokaido Shinkansen operations so safe, efficient and successful for over 50 years.”
TCP has proposed the Houston station along the north 610 Loop between Interstate 10 and U.S. 290. They’ve argued that travel in the trains will be quite luxurious and “From the stations, you will easily be able to rent a car; be picked-up by a family member, friend or colleague; hail a cab or access public transportation such as the DART in Dallas or Houston’s METRO. These convenient locations also mean that you will be a short walk, Uber or taxi ride away from your final destination.”
It will be quite interesting to know to what final destination TCP refers as a “short walk” from the North 610 Loop. The image below suggests that there will be many opportunities to smell many different brews.