TAHSR Reply to Petition for Exemption

Our crack legal team at The Beckham Group has done it again! Remember, Texas Central has asked the Surface Transportation Board in Washington, DC to exempt Texas Central from federal regulation and to allow it to start construction now. Texans Against High-Speed Rail could not let this happen.

Blake Beckham and Patrick McShan have been working since April 19 (when we filed our reply to Texas Central’s other STB petition) on behalf of all Texas property owners to fight this crucial issue. These guys have not stopped!

Today, we filed our comprehensive reply. Unlike Texas Central, we did our homework. Our reply contains EVIDENCE, not empty promises.

Thank so much to those of you who have supported TAHSR in this crucial fight. And to those of you who have not yet supported us, read the reply, and you will want to help. Your property, tax dollars and livelihood is at stake.


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Discovery Request

As you know, Texas Central made some bold claims to the Surface Transportation Board. Well, we think it is time for them to put their money where their mouth is. The Board procedures allow us to conduct discovery, so we sent Texas Central questions and requests for documents. How much is a ticket going to cost? Will guns be allowed? What about flammable liquids? How much private financing do you have in place? Where did you get it from? Did you do any research to come up with your projection of 4 million passengers a year? Can we see a copy of your business model? What about your construction schedule?

Shouldn’t Texas Central be able to answer these simple questions? And shouldn’t they have to produce all documents, facts, and evidence supporting their claims?

Let’s see if they will respond to our requests, or just make up more excuses and continue to hide information.

Here are the questions and document requests we sent them:


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Request For Report

Let’s circle back to a post from about a month ago. We showed you a letter we sent to Texas Central’s Washington DC attorneys asking them for a copy of a report titled “Texas Central’s High Speed Rail Corridor and Related Private Development Houston to Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas.” According to Texas Central’s petition before the Surface Transportation Board, this report supports its claims that the project will create thousands of jobs and generate billions in economic benefits. Like we said before, if Texas Central is using this report in an attempt to get exemptions from federal railroad regulations, shouldn’t they have to disclose it to the public?

This probably won’t surprise you, but Texas Central refused our request. Their attorney wrote back and said if they disclose the report to the public, it “would be highly prejudicial to Texas Central.”

Just to be clear, on one hand Texas Central is telling the federal government that the report shows that the project will greatly benefit the public through THOUSANDS of new jobs and BILLIONS in economic benefits. On the other hand, their attorney says that if the public sees the report, it would be “highly prejudicial” to Texas Central. So which is it?

Why won’t Texas Central just release this report? And how much do you think they paid their consultant to “create” it?

Here is the letter from Texas Central’s attorney:

STB Petition Reply From TAHSR

As promised, Texans Against High-Speed Rail filed its reply to Texas Central’s petition for “clarification” on Thursday, May 19th before the Surface Transportation Board. We want to thank Blake Beckham and Patrick McShan with The Beckham Group, and our Washington DC attorney Richard Streeter, who have spent countless hours preparing this comprehensive filing.

We included with our filing a verified statement from one of Texas’ most highly regarded eminent domain attorneys, confirming that Texas Central is making an “unprecedented and unconstitutional effort to rob landowners of the value of their property.” He goes on to say, “Never before have I seen the audacity of this type of premature condemnation proceeding, and this Board should be offended by the effort.”

Our reply also includes over 1,500 verified statements from YOU. We are proud to have strong, active members who want their voices heard. We appreciate your support and your donations, and have asked the Board to give your statements the full consideration they deserve.

Finally, through our coordinated efforts with the County Judges in Ellis, Freestone, Grimes, Leon, Limestone, Madison, Navarro, and Waller County, ALL COUNTIES filed strong replies in opposition to Texas Central’s petition. We appreciate the time and effort of these County Judges and their willingness to stand up for their constituents.

We will continue to fight Texas Central at every turn. Feel free to download/print the document for a closer look using the button below (the document is 3,115 pages).

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If you would like to continue the fight against eminent domain abide, taxpayer subsidies and crony capitalism, please make sure you donate to TAHSR using the button below. Please remember TAHSR volunteer leadership is entirely unpaid so your dollars go directly to where it makes the most impact in this fight. Thank you for your support!


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