March 25, 2024 - - 

In 1867, the Houston and Texas Central Railroad, after years of delay, rumbled into Bryan for the first time, greeted by raucous celebrations glorifying the Brazos Valley’s newfound connections to the outside world. 

Along with economic development and community prestige, the railroad brought some unwelcome guests — most notably yellow fever — but over the following decades there was little doubt that passenger rail positively impacted this part of the Brazos Valley. College Station is named College Station after all. 

However, despite the fact that Amtrak service ended only in 1995, it feels as though the community is a millennia removed from the rails that made it. The Brazos County Council of Governments’ Board of Directors repeatedly renewed resolutions opposing Texas Central’s plans to build high speed rail in Grimes County, mainly due to ongoing property disputes. Walker and Grimes County have also been firm opponents, often claiming they do not oppose passenger rail service, merely Texas Central’s alleged disregard of property owners in developing it. 

If those opponents to high-speed rail really object to high-speed rail and high-speed rail alone, they have an opportunity to prove it. Amtrak recently released a number of proposed long-distance routes using existing rail corridors, one of which would connect Denver and Houston via Dallas-Fort Worth and, more importantly, Bryan

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(The Battalion is published by Texas A&M University)

Photo: Texas Rail Advocates