Texas Central won a key ruling Thursday that will make it easier to build the proposed high-speed rail line between Dallas and Houston, but hurdles remain before construction can begin.
The Surface Transportation Board, which oversees regulation of various modes of transportation, primarily freight rail, in addition to some passenger rail, reversed a prior decision, and will now take jurisdiction over the project.
The STB's decision doesn't clear the way entirely for Texas Central to make its high-speed rail line a reality, but it represents a major hurdle the company has now overcome.
Texas Central wanted the STB to take jurisdiction because while high-speed rail is uncommon in the U.S., the STB does have experience overseeing rail construction. If the STB had again declined to take jurisdiction, the permitting process would have likely been kicked to the state which has far less experience in these matters.
The project's opposition group, Texans Against High Speed Rail, pointed out the STB also denied a Texas Central request that would have expedited the construction process. Now, Texas Central must go through a full application with the STB.
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