Houston to Dallas in 90 minutes, will the bullet train ever happen?

It's a dream for many Texans...

Here in Houston, who hasn't sat in bumper to bumper traffic on I-45 and wished for a way to get to Dallas faster?  It's been talked about for years, one day you could hop on a train in Houston and get off in Dallas, just 90 minutes later.

The plan is to develop a station at Northwest Mall.

Holly Reed with Texas Central Railway says the company wants to break ground on the bullet train before the end of the year. 

"Every day we are asked by people, when can I ride it? You can feel the excitement building," Holly says.

Holly goes on the explain the need for the bullet train. "There are 16 million trips made between Houston and North Texas ever year, 90 percent are by car."

They are waiting on two Federal approvals before construction begins, but those aren't the only hurdles.

Calvin House is a former cattle rancher in Hockley. His family has owned this land since the 1830s.

"There will never be enough ridership to make this thing cost-effective, and when that happens it'll go back to taxpayers," House says.

The family owns House Estate, a wedding venue. If allowed to be built, the train would go right through their property. They say that would destroy their livelihood and the value of their land.

House elaborates, "We can't have weddings with a train coming by ever 15 minutes at over 200 miles per hour."

The House family has challenged Texas Central doing surveys on the land, arguing they're not a railroad company and don't have eminent domain powers to take over their ownership rights.

Christie Parker, a member of the House family says,  "Property rights I think are important for everyone, because if it's not you today, it could be you tomorrow."

Texas Central says they've reached agreements with landowners on about 30 percent of the parcels needed for the tracks.

Holly Reed clarifies, "Our last resort would be to go through the court process and condemnation process. The trainsets are being purchased from Japan and they are tailoring them for Texas."

The price tag for all of this? $20 billion. Reed says it will be privately funded by investors.

Christie Parker says the family just wants transparency for themselves and the state.

So, the battle over commuter convenience and land legacies like the House family's could drag on for years. Ultimately, the Supreme Court may decide the fate of the bullet train.

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