Texas Bullet Train Plans Resurface Upon Announcement of Amtrak Partnership

October 2, 2023

The long-planned bullet train project connecting Dallas and Houston is resurfacing after Amtrak  and developers Texas Central made a joint announcement in August that they are seeking funding opportunities for environmental studies and design. The train would utilize Japanese technology to transport passengers at 205 mph in under 90 minutes in an effort to expand and modernize transportation options in the southern region of the United States.

After Texas Central received approval from the Texas Supreme Court in June of last year confirming its power of eminent domain to secure right-of-way, development stalled. With new CEO Michael Bui and recent interest from Amtrak, attention on the project is picking back up.

Map of the proposed bullet train route from Dallas to Houston courtesy of Texas Central

Exact Impact on Property Owners Remains Unclear

The train’s route spans 10 counties (Dallas, Ellis, Navarro, Freestone, Limestone, Leon, Madison, Grimes, Waller, and Harris) with stops at the Northwest Mall in Houston, a mid-way stop in the Brazos Valley, and a stop south of downtown Dallas.

While the exact number of impacted properties is still unknown, rural land owners continue to push back on the proposed route that was first pitched in 2014. Much of the route would impact rural counties, which would not reap the benefits of easy access to the train. In 2016, land acquisition efforts ramped up but started declining when Texas Central started reselling properties they had already purchased, including land in Madison and Navarro counties.

If you believe your property may be impacted by the Texas Central bullet train, an expert eminent domain and condemnation attorney at Barron, Adler, Clough & Oddo, PLLC can help you determine the next steps before funding is secured and design is finalized.