Texas Legislature Doesn’t Act on Anti-Rail Bills

The Texas legislature adjourned without acting on legislation that rail passenger advocate say was designed to kill a proposed high-speed rail project.

Some anti-rail legislators proposed rules that would have likely killed the $16 billion project.

However, the legislature did adopt two bills that were aimed at the project.

Senate Bill 977, which Gov. Greg Abbott signed, prohibits using state money on high-speed rail.

Senate Bill 975 focuses on safety protocols for high speed-rail in the state. Abbott is expected to sign that legislation.

Texas Central Partners said it doesn’t expect SB 977 to affect the project because it will not be using state funds.

“Texas is proving again to be a leader in transportation, and the Railroad is proud to be a part of that,” said Holly Reed, managing director for external affairs at Texas Central Railway. “The Texas Bullet Train remains a key tool in the state’s infrastructure tool box as a safe, reliable and environmentally friendly option that efficiently will move our growing population.”

Texas Central hopes to begin service in 2023 or 2024.

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