Critics Question Bullet Train Developer’s Financial Transactions – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
There is new information about the plans to build a high-speed train between Dallas and Houston – and where some of the money for the project is coming from.
The Japanese-designed high-speed train would commute between the two cities in just 90 minutes at nearly 200 miles per hour. There would be a stop in Grimes County. The project has been under development for years by Texas Central, which is headquartered in Dallas.
Texas Central has already purchased much of the land it needs for the 240-mile rail line. Now the Texans Against High-Speed Rail group has released public documents showing that Texas Central used part of this land as collateral for a loan of up to $ 300 million from Japan Texas High-Speed Railway Cayman LP, which is based in the Cayman Islands. This entity was created by a bank owned by the Japanese government.
Critics say the loan deal is proof that the train is not a Texan project, something supporters often tout. Texans Against High-Speed Rail also warns that if Texas Central fails, large swathes of land in central Texas could end up belonging to the Japanese. The group is calling on Governor Abbott to take action against what he calls deceptive practices in dealing with landowners.
Carlos Aguilar, president and CEO of Texas Central, issued the following statement in response to the charges:
“Despite unfounded rumors to the contrary, Texas Central Railroad, a Texas-based company, owns the property purchased for the state-of-the-art bullet train project and continues to honor all commitments made to the landowners who participated in the land option purchase program. Texas Central has provided security over its acquired property to its lender, which is standard practice in real estate transactions. As momentum toward physical construction accelerates , Texas Central continues to engage in personalized, open and collaborative discussions with landowners, outlining the benefits of the project, listening to their concerns and answering their questions.
Texas Central put dozens of workers on leave in March, citing financial problems related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this, the company says it hopes to innovate early next year. Construction will take approximately six years.