The fuss was all over a one and a half inch pin that surveyors for Texas Central Railway had placed on a Grimes County, Texas road.
This week the 14th Court of Appeals in Houston reversed a previous decision and stated that Grimes County submitted defective evidence and failed to meet its burden of proof that the actions of Texas Central surveyors on a county road were a public nuisance.
Grimes County took Texas Central Railway to court after they say a contractor surveying on the railroad's behalf did road damage when crosses and metal spikes were put down during the survey and claimed they had another victory against the railroad building a high speed bullet train between Dallas and Houston. A summary judgment from the 506th District Court in 2017 said in part, "Defendants and their agents are permanently enjoined from performing survey (s), or other studies which damage, alter, or impair county-maintained rights of way."
The Grimes County lawsuit singled out a company that was performing standard survey practices also used across the State by TxDOT, road builders and construction companies. In a statement, Texas Central said that surveyors utilized a 1.5-inch pin and paint and restored the site back in a satisfactory manner which was signed off by the County.
Quoted in a May 2017 news story posted by TV station KTBX, County Judge Ben Leman, now a State Representative, said the court granted an injunction that would in his words, "stops the train in it's tracks". Leman said "with this ruling as well as the regulations in every single county from Ellis to Waller and only a few weeks left of our current legislative session, it does not seem as if this high speed rail project is going to make progress anytime soon."
Texas Central and its contractors said that they have observed, and will continue to observe, safe and professional survey practices. "This victory will not alter the practices of Texas Central and its contractors, who will continue to comply with the rules and laws applicable to Texas surveyors, and conduct all work in a safe and professional manner", according to a statement from Texas Central.