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SDC is described as “an entity that will develop train stations in Dallas, Houston and Grimes County near College Station, where the permitted high-speed rail line terminals will be located.” It will “be independently owned by a consortium of Texas investors and separate from Texas Central.”
Cadiz Riverfront Holdings and Cadiz Development Houston LLC will form SDC and be led by John Kleinheinz and Jack Matthews. The group owns approximately 52 acres in the Cedars neighborhood just south of downtown Dallas, approximately 45 acres in Houston formerly known as the Northwest Mall, and approximately 59 acres in Grimes County, near College Station. The parcels of land owned by this group “include the sites of the future Texas high-speed rail stations, as approved by Federal and State authorities and the surrounding developable acreage,” SDC said. The company will develop the parcels of land owned by Cadiz Riverfront and Cadiz Development. SDC will undertake planning, designing, development, construction, improvement, commissioning, operation, maintenance and funding of the terminals, station sites, platform surfaces and circulation area, and “will engage with state, local and federal governmental agencies and private companies seeking to deliver high-speed rail to Texas.”
“Our high-speed rail project connecting Dallas and Houston will be as transformational to Texas as DFW Airport was to the region when it was opened in 1973,” said Kleinheinz “Texas Central will be the blueprint for national high-speed rail, a solution for environmentally efficient transportation. As this first high-speed rail project comes online, Texas is positioned to lead in discussions about a national rail strategy with the local and federal stakeholders. Texas Central is moving toward a consensus on how to finance their technology deployment along the Dallas/Houston corridor. The U.S. and Japanese governments have an excellent, long-term history of working together on strategic projects, and we are optimistic they will reach a mutually beneficial understanding. These station assets will be an integral part of the system when financing for the Tokaido Shinkansen system is finalized. If a solution involving the Shinkansen system cannot be reached, our station sites will be used to make sure high-speed rail comes to Texas and integrates with the rest of the nation, using the best technology offered.”
“We have invested substantial time and energy to advance high-speed rail between Dallas and Houston and Grimes County near College Station,” said Matthews. “We do not intend on missing this opportunity for the people of Texas. To keep this positive momentum, we will begin discussions with various third parties who have successful experience with high-speed rail.”
Those “various third parties” were not named.
Texas Central noted that its “stakeholders and partners” include Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corporation for Transport & Urban Development (JOIN); Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC); Shinkansen United Group, comprised of Central Japan Railway, Hitachi Ltd., Toshiba Corp., NEC Corp. and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries; WeBuild S.P.A., RENFE, Bechtel and Kiewit.
Texas Republicans: “Non-interoperable, Dangerous, Nearly Insolvent”
Two Texas Republican congressmen, Kevin Brady and Jake Ellzey, on Oct. 14 sent a letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg Dr. Morteza Farajian of the Build America Bureau accusing the Texas Central HSR project as “over budget, years behind schedule, with no federal permit,” and “eventually leaving taxpayers on the hook for a failed project.” Brady (TX-08) and Ellzey (TX-06) allege that Texas central intends to access $12 billion in federal RRIF loan funds.
“Texas Central Railroad has yet again reneged on their promise after vowing for years to not seek federal funding for their proposed high-speed rail project,” said Brady. “Taxpayers should not be left on the hook for boondoggle projects that never come to come to fruition. I will always fight to protect federal taxpayers—not only in my district, but across America—to make sure our constituents aren’t stuck holding the bag when rail projects default on their loans.”
“Texas Central has failed to acquire the capital required to fund their project privately. They have been unable to acquire the funding through the Texas Legislature. And now, they turn to the federal government to bail them out,” said Ellzey. “We should not be spending taxpayer dollars on a project that was supposed to be fully privately funded. But more important, the American government should not be giving a foreign company funds to take land away from its people. If completed, the high-speed rail project will be devastating to Texas’ farmland and ranchland. I-35 and I-45 provide economic stability to the communities and businesses along their corridor. I am proud to stand with Congressman Brady in pushing back against this project.”
In the letter (downloadable below), the two wrote:
“The $12 billion loan [Texas Central is] seeking would not only be the largest RRIF loan in the program’s history, but would consume more than one-third of the total sum allocated to the program. We are concerned with Texas Central’s ability to skirt Buy America requirements, inflate ridership projections, and obtain federal loans without authority to construct, which will leave the American taxpayer on the hook. Should Texas Central pursue federal assistance, [we] encourage DOT to consider the alarming facts of this project.
“It would be a misuse of taxpayer dollars to provide a federal loan to Texas Central without approval from the STB. Although Texas Central claims it is in ‘execution phase,’ many critical steps have not been taken, and important questions about the financial feasibility of this project remain unanswered. Texas Central claimed they would never ask the public to subsidize their project, and now it is essential.”
The post Texas Investors Form HSR Station Development Company (UPDATED) appeared first on Railway Age.
This article first appeared on www.railwayage.com
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