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3 hours ago, Ross said:

There are a lot of people in rural areas who don't want to lose any of their property, even if it's just an easement. A friend who has 530 acres near Victoria had to give in and sign the papers for a pipeline easement after his attorney told him that it wasn't worth fighting. So, he now has a 2400 feet long 50 feet wide clear cut easement running diagonally through the most wooded part of his land. He did not want the pipeline, he didn't want the money, he just wanted his land left alone. The pipeline could have changed the route to run along the road, but that might have cost them more, so screw landowners. The construction also destroyed an entire hunting season on the most productive portion of his land, running from mid-November through March.

I don't think you can speak for all of the affected landowners and claim they are just holding out for more money. You don't know them, you have never met them, and you have no clue how the rail might impact them. You just sit there in your chair, holding up a big middle finger to them and their lives, simply because you want your life easier. 

The rail should have been routed along the freeways to minimize impacts on rural areas. After looking at the maps on the project site, it is obvious that their claim that they would use existing power line easements is a lie. Their own maps show them taking right of way adjacent to the power lines, requiring the removal of millions of trees. So much for being green. Here's the alignment  map page https://www.texascentral.com/alignment-maps/

I am not affected by rail. I will never be taking rail to Dallas, since I will continue to drive to get there, which costs far less than any of the proposed fares. If it gets built, and fails, then the investors need to lose every damn dime they put in it. 

Pretty damn presumptuous of what and who I do and do not know, aren't you?

 

And I do hold that middle finger high, because their entire scope of life is that they owe nothing to anyone beyond their own small community. I reject that entirely, and despair that it takes the force of state to bring them around to the folly of that view.

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Houston-to-Dallas bullet train given green light from feds    

New Concept Photos Released for the High Speed Rail Stations: https://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Newest-Concepts-for-Texas-High-Speed-Rail-Stations-565235412.html    

The final EIS was released Friday, and I compared the draft EIS schematic to the final EIS schematic. https://railroads.dot.gov/environmental-reviews/dallas-houston-high-speed-rail/dallas-houston

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11 hours ago, Ross said:

The rail should have been routed along the freeways to minimize impacts on rural areas.

In what world would TXDOT restrict themselves for future expansion?

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2 hours ago, BeerNut said:

In what world would TXDOT restrict themselves for future expansion?

Definitely an issue to resolve if freeways were used for rail. However, would freeway expansion be necessary if rail was present and taking cars off the road as suggested by the TCR plans? Would using freeway RoW and building on viaduct the entire route still allow for freeway revisions? Would the rent for freeway RoW help the State fund other transportation improvements?

I am not totally opposed to HSR. I am more concerned about the attitudes displayed towards the people in rural areas who will be net losers if the project advances. Treating them as impediments to be stomped on without understanding their feelings and the root of their opposition to losing their land for something that provides them zero benefit is not good. 

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HSR maximum curve radius at speed are often incompatible with highway RoWs.  Brightline in FL plans to build in RoWs. Their trains will be travelling at less than half the speed and the corridors aren't as developed as I45(I assume that's the one you're talking about).

I think some of attitudes expressed are just another manifestation continuing divide between rural and urban areas.  Personally I have no property on proposed route but the one family I do know is excited about the possibility of selling.  As discussed earlier in this thread I think the people that wouldn't mind selling are staying quiet because it's such an emotional issue.   If my friend's parents didn't tell them till I brought it up...

I wonder how much the people in this area care about the train...

KL5hg3X.jpg

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On 6/26/2021 at 9:21 AM, BeerNut said:

HSR maximum curve radius at speed are often incompatible with highway RoWs.  Brightline in FL plans to build in RoWs. Their trains will be travelling at less than half the speed and the corridors aren't as developed as I45(I assume that's the one you're talking about).

I think some of attitudes expressed are just another manifestation continuing divide between rural and urban areas.  Personally I have no property on proposed route but the one family I do know is excited about the possibility of selling.  As discussed earlier in this thread I think the people that wouldn't mind selling are staying quiet because it's such an emotional issue.   If my friend's parents didn't tell them till I brought it up...

I wonder how much the people in this area care about the train...

KL5hg3X.jpg

Ding ding ding. The *neighbors* want to stick it to the folks in the big cities, or try to wrench concessions from TSR. The people on the route are getting way more than fair-market value for what's essentially pastureland. The cries of "the poor rural landowners" are almost entirely disingenuous.

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3 hours ago, ADCS said:

Ding ding ding. The *neighbors* want to stick it to the folks in the big cities, or try to wrench concessions from TSR. The people on the route are getting way more than fair-market value for what's essentially pastureland. The cries of "the poor rural landowners" are almost entirely disingenuous.

Some of those folks don't want money. They just want their land to be left alone. Given a choice, they wouldn't sell, even if offered millions per acre. There's nothing wrong with that, either. They will ultimately lose, but at least we can try to understand why they feel the way they do. They are not all mercenary jerks looking for more money.

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14 hours ago, Ross said:

Some of those folks don't want money. They just want their land to be left alone. Given a choice, they wouldn't sell, even if offered millions per acre. There's nothing wrong with that, either. They will ultimately lose, but at least we can try to understand why they feel the way they do. They are not all mercenary jerks looking for more money.

If in fact those people do exist, that's just not a compelling argument for me. A few hundred or a thousand people hamstringing a process that could make life better for hundreds of thousands or a million, not to mention the environment... that just reads as selfish. I'm not asking them to be thrilled about it, and I'm not saying that some of them won't be net losers in all of this (I think the business owners along I-45 stand to lose more in the long term than the landowners along the route). I just really chafe at the idea that anyone should wield wildly outsize influence like that. Especially when we're talking about people whose land is there only by luck of the draw.

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On 6/25/2021 at 1:39 PM, Luminare said:

Also remember that your comment "some of us believe there are just better ways to use billions of dollars" is literally mirror version of GMAC's statement. No better or worse. An inverse and mirror imagine. In this thread though TCR reigns as it should as its what this topic is about, but in the I-45 context its the highway that rules. Both sides can (and probably will) ultimately get what they want which is expanded options for transit in whichever they prefer because if Houston is become the top city it is destined to be, all hands need to be on deck.

a key difference though...

TCR is a private company, while they might borrow money, they intend on paying it back with money raised through ticket sales.

the i45 rebuild is being covered by TXDot, while they will borrow money also, that's where the similarity ends, because the bonds used to pay for this will be paid for with taxes collected, either gas tax, or other taxes.

from the point of view of ED, yes, they are both going to end up taking land from people who don't want to have their land taken. that sucks, and hopefully the taking doesn't disrupt too much.

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3 hours ago, samagon said:

a key difference though...

TCR is a private company, while they might borrow money, they intend on paying it back with money raised through ticket sales.

the i45 rebuild is being covered by TXDot, while they will borrow money also, that's where the similarity ends, because the bonds used to pay for this will be paid for with taxes collected, either gas tax, or other taxes.

from the point of view of ED, yes, they are both going to end up taking land from people who don't want to have their land taken. that sucks, and hopefully the taking doesn't disrupt too much.

People keep focusing just on the ticket sales but I believe there is also development component to this project. 

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20 hours ago, BeerNut said:

People keep focusing just on the ticket sales but I believe there is also development component to this project. 

That is a biggie that people dont understand when they think of this project. At the Houston Station you will have rental space for business, plus hotels and restaurants most certainly will want to build around the station. It not just jobs for the rail itself but in a much braoder view the jobs and commerce that will be created around each station. That station out by Bryan will most certainly see a positive impact when it comes to new business and increase in commerce.

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11 minutes ago, cougarpad said:

That is a biggie that people dont understand when they think of this project. At the Houston Station you will have rental space for business, plus hotels and restaurants most certainly will want to build around the station. It not just jobs for the rail itself but in a much braoder view the jobs and commerce that will be created around each station. That station out by Bryan will most certainly see a positive impact when it comes to new business and increase in commerce.

I've wondered if the Roans Prairie station is just a means to create a exclusive master planned communities...deeded several acre lots, commuter pass($15k+ per year), less than 30 minute commute time from from Houston station, beyond reach of hurricane forces, etc.  

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59 minutes ago, BeerNut said:

I've wondered if the Roans Prairie station is just a means to create a exclusive master planned communities...deeded several acre lots, commuter pass($15k+ per year), less than 30 minute commute time from from Houston station, beyond reach of hurricane forces, etc.  

This is more presumption than anything else, but thinking strategically and pragmatically, the Roans Prairie station is more a way to satisfy with potential power brokers in those counties and within Bryan/College Station. Its why you don't see another station at the other end near Dallas. Waco doesn't really have that much pull, nor does a small town like Corsicana. Its a play to secure a position in a growing region with one of the largest, if not the largest university institutions in the state.

I see a lot of potential to use this station to leap frog over and connect Austin with Houston in the future.

Another thing to consider is that historically Railroads make the most money in land acquisition, land redistribution, and land development. Its why they got so big and so popular by local politicians in the late 1800's and early 1900's. No better way to lock in a dedicated user base than to build it yourself. If you want to see the success of developments around transit by successful transit companies I recommend research Hong Kong's Metro. Build rail to places people WANT to go to, and then build where you WANT people to live/work/shop around the station, so its one continuous ecosystem where you don't have to stray to far from the Transit system to get what you need. HSR checks the boxes from a planning perspective. While we can debate about the locations of the end stations its still connects two cities people frequently want to go to plus a ties in a small city that pulls lots of students from both Dallas and Houston, and when I was at A&M that was the majority of the campus. HSR also with its land acquisition has the opportunity to build around it and create a kind of ecosystem/lifestyle revolving around riding this train on the regular.

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5 hours ago, Luminare said:

Another thing to consider is that historically Railroads make the most money in land acquisition, land redistribution, and land development. Its why they got so big and so popular by local politicians in the late 1800's and early 1900's. 

Railroads generally got their land for free in the 1800's and early 1900's. No way you don't make money with free land.

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