PRESS RELEASE February 8, 2019



WHAT: Leon County Landowners won their lawsuit against Texas Central “Railway” when Judge Deborah Evans ruled in their favor, declaring Texas Central “Railway” and Integrated Texas Logistics are not a railroad or interurban electric rail, meaning they do not have eminent domain authority.

WHO: Landowners Jim and Barbara Miles, Texans Against HSR Special Litigation Counsel Blake Beckham and Patrick McShan, Texans Against HSR Chairman Kyle Workman, and State Representative Ben Leman.

WHEN: MONDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2019; 11:00 AM


WHY: Texas Central “Railway’s” high-speed “rail” project is in serious jeopardy after Judge Deborah Evans clearly rules this project is not entitled to the rights and authorities of railroads or interurban electric rail, including eminent domain authority. This is just one example of the continued lies Texas Central “Railway” has promulgated across the Lone Star State. It is time that Texans finally hear the facts.


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PRESS RELEASE January 30, 2019


Ellis County, Texas – Last Friday, Ellis County landowners Ronny Caldwell, William Getzendaner, and Darren Eagle celebrated another devastating blow to Texas Central Railway’s ill-advised high-speed rail project. In Ellis County – where Texas Central has sued more than ten landowners – Judge Jim Chapman denied Texas Central’s motion for a summary judgment order declaring that Texas Central qualifies as a railroad company under Texas law. As it stands, Texas Central still has no legal right to enter onto private property, nor does it have the right to force landowners to sell their property under the threat of eminent domain. In short, everything Texas Central has been telling landowners and the public for the past three years continues to be proven false in courtrooms up and down the proposed HSR corridor. Hopefully now, after losing in court again, Texas Central will finally realize that – in Texas – merely saying you are a railroad doesn’t mean that you are a railroad.

Landowner Ronny Caldwell said he is pleased with the ruling, especially since this is the second time he has been sued by the promoters of the proposed HSR. “Texas Central sued me back in 2016, then dropped the lawsuit after I hired an attorney and filed my papers. Then they sued me again in 2018. For years, I’ve been asking them to show me proof they are a railroad with eminent domain. They never could. And as it turns out, they couldn’t prove it in court either.”

Our legal team, led by Blake Beckham and Patrick McShan of The Beckham Group, worked countless hours alongside Ron Bunch, Derek Rollins, and Dan Gus, attorneys for William Getzendaner and Darren Eagle, in defense of these landowners’ property rights. Glenn Sodd, Jason Sodd and Jody McSpadden of the Dawson Sodd firm also contributed to this legal victory.

Patrick McShan said, “Once again, Texas Central bullied innocent landowners, sued them, threatened them with attorney’s fees, filed thousands of pages of papers, and then lost in court. It’s like a broken record. How many more of these cases does Texas Central and their army of lawyers have to lose before they get it through their heads that bringing a bunch of boxes of papers to the courthouse to show how much work you’ve done doesn’t mean you can violate someone’s private property rights? They’ve filed 43 cases in six counties and still can’t find a single court to sign off on their absurd legal arguments. And it’s not going to happen on our watch.”

Kyle Workman, president of Texans Against High-Speed Rail, said, “This ruling doesn’t surprise us, given that Texas Central has never produced any documentation of eminent domain authority. This company has been threatening and suing landowners, sending harassing letters, trespassing, and coercing “option contracts” with the unsubstantiated threat of eminent domain for years. With no eminent domain authority and no money or approval to construct, calling this project a pipe dream is putting it mildly. In truth, it’s just a bunch of consultants feeding at a Japanese-funded trough. It’s time for Texas Central to call it quits and move on.”


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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.”


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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