April 5, 2019 - TRA Austin -
On Wednesday the House Transportation Committee created a subcommittee that will be the new battleground for high-speed rail bills.
Almost all the high-speed bills that have not been heard at this time have now landed in this committee.
This subcommittee will be chaired by Rep. John Raney (R-Bryan/College Station), with vocal anti-high-speed rail freshman Rep. Ben Leman (R-Iola) as Vice Chair.
Both hold seats in the region where Texas Central Railway is in the final planning stages of building a high-speed passenger railroad between Dallas and Houston and both have expressed anti-high speed rail views.
The other subcommittee members are:
Rep. Yvonne Davis (D-Dallas), Rep. Shawn Thierry (D-Houston) and Rep. Cole Hefner (R-Mt. Pleasant).
This subcommittee will hear the bills and present their findings to the full Transportation Committee for voting purposes. The first hearing for it has not been set at this time but could be posted for next week or the following week.

In 2016 Sub-Committee Chairman Raney signed on to a letter to to Japanese Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae, arguing that the bullet train project would "burden their communities without providing any benefits and called on Sasae to seek out a different market for the project" The signers of the letter include eleven Republican members of the Legislature: State Sens. Brian Birdwell of Granbury, Lois Kolkhorst of Brenham and Charles Schwertner of Georgetown, and State Reps. Trent Ashby of Lufkin, Cecil Bell of Magnolia, Byron Cook of Corsicana, Kyle Kacal of College Station, Will Metcalf of Conroe, John Raney of College Station, Leighton Schubert of Caldwell, and John Wray of Waxahachie. Other signers include several county judges, county commissioners and members of sub-regional planning commissions in the rural areas that would be most affected by the proposal. (Credit: Texas Tribune 1/12/16).

In 2015 - Sub-Committee Chairman Raney along with Senators Lois Kolkhorst and Charles Schwertner and State Representatives Trent Ashby, Kyle Kacal, Will Metcalf and Leighton Schubert signed a letter asking Texans in Congress to oppose any application by Texas Central Railway to the Surface Transportation Board (Credit: KBTX-TV 4/13/15).