PRESS RELEASE September 12, 2018


The Proposed Dallas Houston HSR Received a Notes Purchase Agreement from the Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corps for Transport & Urban Development (JOIN) for up to $300M

Jewett, Texas – Although the proposed Dallas Houston HSR project is trumpeting having received a maximum $300M loan backed by JOIN and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), Texans Against High-Speed Rail is strongly refuting reports that characterize the loan as enough to “finish the project” or even “clear the way” for construction.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

With simple math and deductive reasoning, it’s clear this interest bearing loan, which if fully funded, would inject less than 2% of needed funds to construct the $18B-$20B project, is necessary for Japan to move it’s project along since the “Texas-based investments” have dried up and there aren’t enough domestic investors lining up to support the project into the next phase. Additionally, previous investors are nervous that their investment has been squandered on buying influence, propaganda, and a huge amount of wasteful spending.

Kyle Workman, president of Texans Against HSR, said of this most recent ploy, “This project has long wanted to be recognized as a Texas project in spite of all the evidence to the contrary. This loan is further proof that this is not a transportation solution for Texas but simply an attempt by the Japanese to export their antiquated 1950’s HSR technology. It is clear, the primary funding source for this project is the Japanese Government; no one domestically wants to lend money to this boondoggle. This latest news does nothing to change the facts…Texas Central is not a railroad, has no authority to condemn property, has only a fraction of the money necessary, has no approval(s) to construct, has no regulatory framework in which to operate their ride, and therefore cannot execute this business venture even if they had all the funding. Simply put, this is just another waste of Japanese taxpayer dollars, spent on lobbyists, consultants, and the harassment of hardworking Texans.”

Workman went on to say, “We are concerned that this is yet another unchecked attempt to mislead the public to believe this project is progressing forward and is inevitable. The company currently has no permission to operate, much less construct, this proposed HSR. Do not be misled.”


TAHSR Reply in Opposition to Petition to Reopen to the Surface Transportation Board

The TAHSR Reply in Opposition to Petition to Reopen to the Surface Transportation Board was submitted Thursday afternoon with over 1,900 verified statements from impacted citizens, as well as County Judges and State Senators and Representatives. Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association also included their opposition letter within our reply. Upon reading, you will find a very strong case for the STB not taking jurisdiction of this project, but also some clear indicators that should they choose to, they must give the required “hard look” at the finances of the project. We all can anticipate what that will reveal about this ill-conceived, ill-fated project.  Thank you for your support with this reply and we look forward to an STB decision in our favor once the STB nominees are approved by Congress.

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Request For Extension

Prior to the government shutdown, our DC environmental law firm submitted this letter to the Federal Railroad Administration to request a ninety-day extension on the DEIS public comment period. The letter cites several flaws with the FRA’s administration of public comment period. The bottom line is this: A sixty-day public comment period to review a document that is 5,000 pages and took years to produce is unacceptable. Additionally, the government shutdown may affect the public comment period as well. We will update you on Monday when we know if the FRA is included in the shutdown.

We are continuing to work hard on your behalf. Please be sure to visit our Maps page for more information about how you can be involved in protecting your property and our great State during this DEIS comment period.

PRESS RELEASE December 8, 2017


Ben Leman to resign as Grimes County Judge; remain TAHSR Chairman

Jewett, Texas – Texans Against High-Speed Rail (TAHSR) Chairman Ben Leman has been a champion for protecting taxpayer dollars and private property rights and, in his capacity as Grimes County Judge, county rights in a fight now entering its fourth year against the proposed Dallas Houston HSR.

While Leman will continue to serve as TAHSR Chairman, he will resign as Grimes County Judge today, December 8, 2017, and begin his candidacy to seek election to the Texas House of Representatives for the position soon to be vacated by Leighton Schubert representing District 13.

Kyle Workman, President of Texans Against High-Speed Rail, “On behalf of all Texans, we would like to express our gratitude to Representative Schubert for his tireless work and coordination with us and wish him the best.”

“We are also excited for Judge Leman as he begins this new chapter and know unequivocally that, if elected, he will continue the hard work started by Representative Leighton Schubert to represent Texas landowners who are being negatively impacted by this proposed HSR project.”

“Knowing Ben personally, the voters of District 13 should be eager to head to the polls and elect Ben as their next Representative. He is a man of character and wisdom and has a genuine motivation to serve his constituents,” Workman said.


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PRESS RELEASE December 8, 2017


Congressman Kevin Brady made official inquiry on behalf of constituents about illegal surveys and trespass

Jewett, Texas – On the eve of the intended publication date for the Dallas Houston HSR Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), Congressman Kevin Brady sounded the alarm with Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Federal Railroad Administration Acting Administrator Heath Hall about the proposed HSR project citing constituent concerns of trespass and illegal survey. As of this morning, per an FRA official, the DEIS has been delayed yet again and will not be published today as previously intended.

Landowners shared personal accounts and photos with Brady indicating surveyors for the Dallas Houston HSR project had trespassed on their property, some including photos of agents illegally surveying. Brady also noted in his letter the concerns of Grimes County Judge Ben Leman who explained the permanent injunction against Texas Central Partners and their agents from surveying county property as a result of an illegal survey and damage to county property.

Kyle Workman, president of TAHSR, said, “This Draft EIS has been delayed an unprecedented amount of times so while we are not surprised it has been delayed again, we are appreciative that the FRA and the Department of Transportation are taking these concerns highlighted by Congressman Brady seriously. With this news brought to their attention, it will be difficult process of determining what information contained in the DEIS is based on legally obtained information and what is not. We hope there will be a thorough investigation into this matter. Providing illegally obtained information to the federal government to formulate a DEIS is a serious issue.”

“Congressman Brady has been a steadfast ally in representing the concerns of all Texans who will be negatively impacted by this proposed HSR project. His letter highlighting illegal activity on which the all-but-printed-DEIS is based is a strong show of his commitment to protecting private property rights and the integrity of our federal government,” Workman added.


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PRESS RELEASE October 12, 2017


Travis County Court Rules State Agency Can Hide Information from the Public

Jewett, Texas – In exchange for the use of its taxpayer-funded resources, Texas Central disclosed a Feasibility Study to TxDOT in 2015, and now the Texas Attorney General and a district judge are blocking this document from review by the public. The study – commissioned and paid for by Texas Central’s foreign partner the Japan Bank for International Cooperation – allegedly shows that the proposed high-speed rail will attract millions of passengers each year while generating billions in economic benefits to counties along the affected corridor. Yet, Texas Central has fought hard for the past two years to make sure the study never sees the light of day.

TAHSR filed an open records request for the Feasibility Study, but the Attorney General ruled that Texas Central could withhold the document from the public. The Attorney General made this ruling even though the document is now a government record in the possession of TxDOT, a state agency.

TAHSR filed suit in Travis County against TxDOT and the Attorney General, seeking judicial review of the Attorney General’s decision. Texas Central intervened in the lawsuit, and moved for a summary judgment claiming that release of the study would “give advantage” to its competitors and “substantially harm” its competitive position. This is despite the fact that Texas Central has pushed back the project’s start date to 2023 (at the earliest), and secured less than 1% of the $20 billion in financing it needs to construct the rail line. Additionally, even though the document is not even owned by Texas Central, the company also claimed that it should be allowed to hide the study from TAHSR and the public because “TAHSR’s stated purpose is to inflict substantial harm on TCR.”

At the summary judgment hearing on October 5, Texas Central appeared with an army of attorneys and corporate representatives. Unfortunately, the court sided with Texas Central’s corporate interests and granted its summary judgment. As a result, Texas Central can continue to hide the Feasibility Study from the thousands of landowners who stand to lose their private property to the Japanese government for this ill-advised project, as well as keep the public in the dark about the public necessity and long-term feasibility of this project.

Although TAHSR is disappointed that the court put Texas Central’s private interests before those of the public, TAHSR will continue to demand transparency from Texas Central, TxDOT and the Attorney General. And TAHSR will continue to fight Texas Central at every turn so property rights and tax dollars are not stolen for a foreign-driven private project destined for failure.

TAHSR President Kyle Workman said of the judgement, “The public doesn’t need their trade secrets, but we do need justification for their plans to take private property. If this document held such a fantastic forecast for their project, it should be part of their marketing materials…not hidden at all cost. This is yet another attempt to hide the truth from the public.”


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