May 12, 2017 - -

The battle over high-speed rail through the Brazos Valley has been raging for years now, and it continues in courtrooms and the state capitol.

As Texans await legislative action, First News at Four invited representatives from both sides to discuss their respective positions.

Grimes County Judge Ben Leman is the chairman of Texans Against High-Speed Rail. Leman spoke of the rural residents along the route who don't want to give up their land for this railway.

Leman also discussed a study from Reason Foundation that states, "Simply put, Texas Central has exaggerated its ridership projections while underestimating costs."

KBTX reached out to Texas Central, the company seeking to build the rail. Texas Central provided Chris Lippincott, executive director of Texas Rail Advocates, to represent Texas Central's interests in the roundtable. Lippincott spoke about the connections and the convenience of travel the rail would provide for people in the Brazos Valley.

(TRA Editor's note: The reporter mis-spoke. TRA is an independent grass roots non-profit that supports both freight and passenger rail development in Texas. TRA does not represent Texas Central's interests but is a strong supporter of this project and others).

Lippincott also discussed a study conducted by Insight Research Corp. and commissioned by Texas Central that states, "Every county--both rural and urban--touched by the project could receive significant, long-term tax revenue benefits from the project."
 For the full conversation on First News at Four, click on this link. Note that there are two video clips provided.