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Ennis Daily News

TCR defends suing to get land access

By Mark Warde

Texas Central Railway, the private Texas-based company that is developing high-speed rail service between Dallas and Houston, defended its decision to seek court approval to force a local resident to yield access to the company’s land surveyors.

David Risinger, whose family has owned property 10 miles north of Ennis since 1892, was to appear before District Judge Bob Carroll in Waxahachie on Tuesday. He had refused to grant entrance to his land.

Beckham Group, a Dallas-based special litigation counsel for Texans Against High Speed Rail, was to represent him in the case. However, the hearing was canceled when Judge Carroll withdrew from hearing the case for unknown reasons. No new date or judge has been announced.

Texas Central was given opportunity to respond to the hearing. They issued the following statement:

“State law gives Texas Central, as a railroad company, the right to ‘enter on the land’ to conduct surveys to select the most advantageous route for the proposed railway. These legally permitted land surveys are necessary to ensure that the project has the least amount of impact. The request for court action complies with existing Texas statutes that long have granted land survey authority to railroads, pipelines, electrical lines, telecommunications and other industries to plan for new infrastructure. The planning stage for the train has reached a point in which access to some property is necessary.”

Bob Beckham countered by challenging whether TCR is even a railroad company.

“Texas Central is the only railroad company I’ve ever heard of that has no tracks and no trains, and no approval to construct,” said the lead lawyer at the Beckham Group. “They are a start-up acting like a railroad ambushing landowners all along the corridor with lawsuits trying to get on their property.

“And while they claim to be a good neighbor and willing to work with landowners, they aren’t even giving the landowners time to hire an attorney and file a response to the lawsuits. They served David Risinger with a lawsuit on a Thursday afternoon (May 19) and told him he had to be at a hearing the following Tuesday (May 24),” he said.

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Posted by on May 26 2016. Filed under County News, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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