As most Texans are likely aware, plans to build a high-speed rail between Houston and Dallas have been in the works for several years with little actual progress being made. While Texas Central Partners, the developer of the high-speed rail, has stated construction could begin in 2020, most analysts and those following the project had doubts regarding that timeline even before the Covid-19 outbreak put an effective end to “business as usual.” A primary reason for the doubt surrounding the project is the legal uncertainty regarding whether Texas Central Partners can use the power of eminent domain to condemn the property necessary for the construction of the high-speed rail. As Justin Hodge, partner in the Houston office of Marrs Ellis & Hodge LLP, put it in a recent article published in the Dallas Business Journal, “Texas Central’s right to condemn is a hotly contested issue [and] we don’t know how the Texas Court of Appeals will address Texas Central’s right to take.” If it is ultimately decided that Texas Central Partners lacks eminent domain power, the project has little to no chance of ever being built.

For more details regarding the high-speed rail project and its seemingly uncertain future, please see previous blog posts uploaded to this site as well as the above-referenced Dallas Business Journal article.

Written by: Graham Taylor