Texas Central Railway

Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

MARC Rider

Engineer
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
Messages
5,206
Location
Baltimore. MD
I do not know where you get what appears to be your concept that eminent domain means you are getting the land at less than market value. That is absolutely NOT the case. Eminent domain means, at least everywhere I have been anywhere near it, you pay at least market value. In fact, determination of market value is a major part of the process. Normally in practice you end up paying somewhat of a premium over what the open sale market value would be. In practice eminent domain is only used with unwilling sellers. Most agencies would prefer to negotiate a price without the need for legal compulsion being used to force the sale. There are a lot of non-highway agencies that have the power to obtain land by eminent domain when negotiations fail, such as utility companies, pipelines, etc. Sometimes it may only be an easement, but there are several agencies that go for fee simple purchase only.
I'm not sure how I gave the idea that I think that eminent domain involves buying the land at less than market prices (except in cases of corruption). I agree with what you wrote.
 

cirdan

Engineer
Joined
Mar 30, 2011
Messages
3,126
Brightline is not HSR. The coastal portion is at the high end of conventional rail speed, and is in essence reinstalling double track on an already owned ROW that had been double tracked in the past, upgrading signaling and grade crossings, and replacing bridges. The east-west portion is being built from scratch but on existing highway ROW, and is Higher Speed Rail.
My point is that there isn't really a razor that sets HSR apart from HrSR. There is a continuum and there is not one that is always good and one that is always inferior. There are plenty of rather awful and pointless HSR projects out there just as much as there are good ones, and ditto for HrSR and conventional rail. Also, speed itself is not all important, what matters just as much is door to door journey times and convenience, as well as location of stations and availablity of onward connections, which can do a lot to augment or also negate any speed advantages of the train itself. Not to mention frequency of service, ease of booking and access and any pre-boarding formalities or requirements.
 

west point

Engineer
Joined
Jun 9, 2015
Messages
3,763
Location
SW ATL airport
Texas Central has a good plan. However,
1. Instead of building a separate station at Dallas just build a viaduct to go over Amtrak, TRE, and Dallas light rail (DART) to over the Dallas Union station tracks.. Make the DAL stop adjaecent to DAL US. That way the previousl 2nd floor station lobby would be used with a direct access to Texas Central, With elevators and esculators Union Station would become a very intermodal station. Add some bus routee stops then even betters.

Elevated TC tracks would be able to expand toward FTW in future.

2. Then the Houston station, Locating the station NNW of downtown not very friendly. TC should limit the scope of the Houston station and get with local officials to plan a station location near down town that would include Amtrak and Houston light rail. When station is completed then the NNW station would become suburban station.

3. With a combined station at DALLAS operating the proposed DAL - MEI Amtrak train would give Houston residents a quicker way to get to the Crescent route's stations.. TC is willing to get passengers on the national Amtrak reservation system that will give both RRs more revenue.
 

frequentflyer

Conductor
Joined
Jun 10, 2008
Messages
1,053
This explains where the project is now.

"Because, as we’ve previously noted, this is a badly needed win for the beleaguered company. Although Texas Central representatives insist everything is just fine in the past few months it has come out that Texas Central has failed to pay property taxes in various counties, has seen its CEO Carlos Aguilar abruptly announced his resignation on LinkedIn of all places, and dissolved its board of directors. On top of that, the website has a gaping blank space where the executive team should be and the phone number listed on the website to contact the company is currently out of service.

So, all in all, this legal win a big deal for Texas Central, but it remains to be seen what they will—or can—do with the big hammer that is eminent domain now that the Texas Supreme Court has guaranteed that they do in fact have the right to wield it.'


Now somebody needs to write a 30 Billion dollar check (hopefully that is the actual price and they don't pull a CAHSR).
 

MARC Rider

Engineer
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
Messages
5,206
Location
Baltimore. MD
This explains where the project is now.

"Because, as we’ve previously noted, this is a badly needed win for the beleaguered company. Although Texas Central representatives insist everything is just fine in the past few months it has come out that Texas Central has failed to pay property taxes in various counties, has seen its CEO Carlos Aguilar abruptly announced his resignation on LinkedIn of all places, and dissolved its board of directors. On top of that, the website has a gaping blank space where the executive team should be and the phone number listed on the website to contact the company is currently out of service.
How does a CEO have the power to dissolve the Board of Directors? I thought it worked the other way around. The shareholders elect a board, the board hires executives, and if they don't like them, they can fire them.
 
Joined
Mar 10, 2016
Messages
1,538
How does a CEO have the power to dissolve the Board of Directors? I thought it worked the other way around. The shareholders elect a board, the board hires executives, and if they don't like them, they can fire them.
Because there was no board? It's unclear from that statement if the corp dissolved the board or the CEO did. Very interesting, as they say,
 
Joined
Mar 10, 2016
Messages
1,538
I'm picturing Bette Midler now, in her best imitation of Joan Collins (probably imitating Joan Crawford) telling the board that she will fire them all if they don't do her bidding - from Big Business.
 

cirdan

Engineer
Joined
Mar 30, 2011
Messages
3,126
I'm no lawyer, but if there is no board and no CEO, who then (if anybody) is in control? Who can take executive decisions?

Has Texas Central essentially already thrown the towel?
 
Last edited:

marcoloco

Train Attendant
Joined
Jul 8, 2022
Messages
34
Location
Houston, TX
We first heard about this in 1990 with a completion date of 2005. SWA made sure it never happened. Then we heard about it again this 2nd time around and it's going nowhere fast. This project is all about politics and money (under the table money, that is) and will never happen. Can you think of any other reason it's not being built? And just so you understand what's going on, after this project is dead, you'll hear about it again in about 15 years and the same process wil start all over.
 
Joined
Dec 18, 2007
Messages
1,011
Location
suburban Chicago (Deerfield)
This project is all about politics and money (under the table money, that is) and will never happen. Can you think of any other reason it's not being built?
The opposition to this project has been all about politics: "Texas is an oil/trucks/highways state!" and "How dare a private company (that's not an electric utility, or oil pipeline, or....) use eminent domain!"

If there was any under-the-table money here, the pols would "stay bought" and this thing would be under construction. 🤔;)

And the sheer amount and ridiculousness -- "Texas Central is not a railroad because it's not running trains right now!" :rolleyes: -- of that opposition is precisely the reason it's not being built.

Hopefully it will be built. Yes, there were the aforementioned pessimistic signs, including the CEO resigning. But Texas Central then won in the Texas supreme court, which would have been essentially fatal to the project if it came out the other way. The signs of contraction are just as consistent with investors hedging their bets against that possibility -- while notably still spending $$$ fighting in the supreme court -- as it is with simply giving up. Unlike some, I make little inference from the fact that TC's organizers aren't turning on a dime from fighting for the existence of the project to moving forward ambitiously.
 

Bob Dylan

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
AU Supporting Member
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
25,158
Location
Austin Texas
Hope
The opposition to this project has been all about politics: "Texas is an oil/trucks/highways state!" and "How dare a private company (that's not an electric utility, or oil pipeline, or....) use eminent domain!"

If there was any under-the-table money here, the pols would "stay bought" and this thing would be under construction. 🤔;)

And the sheer amount and ridiculousness -- "Texas Central is not a railroad because it's not running trains right now!" :rolleyes: -- of that opposition is precisely the reason it's not being built.

Hopefully it will be built. Yes, there were the aforementioned pessimistic signs, including the CEO resigning. But Texas Central then won in the Texas supreme court, which would have been essentially fatal to the project if it came out the other way. The signs of contraction are just as consistent with investors hedging their bets against that possibility -- while notably still spending $$$ fighting in the supreme court -- as it is with simply giving up. Unlike some, I make little inference from the fact that TC's organizers aren't turning on a dime from fighting for the existence of the project to moving forward ambitiously.
I hope you're right but I'm from Missouri on this one!😉
 

Devil's Advocate

⠀⠀⠀
Joined
May 24, 2010
Messages
13,574
Location
⠀⠀⠀TX
We first heard about this in 1990 with a completion date of 2005. SWA made sure it never happened. Then we heard about it again this 2nd time around and it's going nowhere fast. This project is all about politics and money (under the table money, that is) and will never happen. Can you think of any other reason it's not being built? And just so you understand what's going on, after this project is dead, you'll hear about it again in about 15 years and the same process wil start all over.
I’ve read and reread this vaguely conspiratorial post several times but I still cannot make heads or tales of what you’re actually trying to say.
 

cirdan

Engineer
Joined
Mar 30, 2011
Messages
3,126
I’ve read and reread this vaguely conspiratorial post several times but I still cannot make heads or tales of what you’re actually trying to say.
I agree.

Intra-Texas travel is only a tiny portion of SW's overall business. Ditto big oil. Why trucking companies or electrical utilities would want to fight the project evades me completely. So if bribes were really being payed, and if any of that should ever be made public (and remember, sooner or later almost everything above a certain size does come to the surface), the damage would be far greater than the purpose the bribes were supposed to achieve.

There is an old saying, never to ascribe to conspiracy what you can ascribe to incompetence.
 

Chris I

Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 8, 2019
Messages
169
Location
Portland, OR
I agree.

Intra-Texas travel is only a tiny portion of SW's overall business. Ditto big oil. Why trucking companies or electrical utilities would want to fight the project evades me completely. So if bribes were really being payed, and if any of that should ever be made public (and remember, sooner or later almost everything above a certain size does come to the surface), the damage would be far greater than the purpose the bribes were supposed to achieve.

There is an old saying, never to ascribe to conspiracy what you can ascribe to incompetence.
At the time of the initial proposal (the 90s), Southwest was a significantly smaller airline, and they were heavily reliant on intra-Texas routes.

You can find a few citations to the efforts of the airline back in that period:

 

Anderson

Engineer
Joined
Nov 16, 2010
Messages
9,847
Location
Virginia
At the time of the initial proposal (the 90s), Southwest was a significantly smaller airline, and they were heavily reliant on intra-Texas routes.

You can find a few citations to the efforts of the airline back in that period:

The key change is that in the 1990s, the Wright Amendment meant that Southwest could only do short-haul flights from DAL (IIRC they were limited to flying to TX, OK, AR, LA, NM...and then MS and KS as well...and could not even do connecting flights through, say, ABQ or MSY on the same ticket). So there was a strong incentive for Southwest to fight (since losing Dallas-Houston would hit them hard).

When that went away, the incentives inverted: DAL is gate-capped (16 gates for Southwest, 4 for others IIRC) but Southwest can fly anywhere from there, so now it is in their interests to get rid of Dallas-Houston (so those flights can go to NYC, LAX, etc.). Right now, that's like 15-16 flights/day (IAH and HOU combined), so that's basically an entire gate they'd gain.

[Edit: Add in DAL-AUS and DAL-SAT and from what I can tell you get another 18 flights/day. So if you could complete the Texas Triangle HSR, Southwest would probably regain about 2-3 gates' worth of space at DAL, which is big. This gets even bigger if they could get the train to be extended to Love Field, since they could probably keep those passengers on connecting tickets.]
 
Last edited:

Touchdowntom9

Train Attendant
Joined
Jun 15, 2022
Messages
87
Location
NYC
If Brightline proves successful after they launch Orlando and Tampa, I would be curious to see if they try to take over this project. Seems like a lot of the legal work is accomplished to a degree and would be a huge market opportunity if they could beat a car by an hour and a half by averaging 120mph on the route. Real difference is that atleast Brightline has financial backing and experience, TC has neither.
 

Anderson

Engineer
Joined
Nov 16, 2010
Messages
9,847
Location
Virginia
If Brightline proves successful after they launch Orlando and Tampa, I would be curious to see if they try to take over this project. Seems like a lot of the legal work is accomplished to a degree and would be a huge market opportunity if they could beat a car by an hour and a half by averaging 120mph on the route. Real difference is that atleast Brightline has financial backing and experience, TC has neither.
I think they might let it go if TC still wants it, and given the timeline on Tampa (at least 4-5 years IIRC) TC should be pretty far along its merry way by then. Frankly, they might also have trouble carrying the relevant debt loads on top of FL and Vegas.
 

Touchdowntom9

Train Attendant
Joined
Jun 15, 2022
Messages
87
Location
NYC
I think they might let it go if TC still wants it, and given the timeline on Tampa (at least 4-5 years IIRC) TC should be pretty far along its merry way by then. Frankly, they might also have trouble carrying the relevant debt loads on top of FL and Vegas.
I dont think TC will be around much longer. But also remember the more collateral you have, the easier it is to maintain large loads of debt. Having 3 separate and unique rail networks in the US will make them a much more stable borrower in the eyes of lenders.
 
Top