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Monday, 06 January 2014 13:09cat

California High Speed Rail Faces More Setbacks

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California's high-speed rail has had an up and down year California's high-speed rail has had an up and down year Washington Times

The California High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) has had an up and down year.  They successfully awarded a $985 million design-build contract for a 29-mile section of track connecting Madera to Fresno.  The company that was awarded the contract expects to begin pre-construction work in August.  The CHSRA was also able to add more qualified individuals to its staff and filled all of their top positions.  Another highlight was reaching an agreement with local farmers to mitigate the impact of constructing the high speed rail project on agricultural operations. 

There have been, however, many setbacks as well.  A Sacremento Superior Court Judge ruled in November that the CHSRA must withdraw its original funding plan because it is not in accordance with the provisions of Proposition 1a that voters approved.  This ruling raised doubts about the project’s business plan and funding source.  While the decision did not stop work on the project, it did cause more voters to lose faith in the $68 billion high-speed rail project.  California Governor Jerry Brown announced a plan to spend millions of dollars from fees paid by carbon producers to finance the rail line.  California’s high-speed rail system will be the first of its kind in the United States so its success or failure will help determine whether other states or regions try to build similar projects.  Despite being approved by voters in 2008, the high-speed rail is currently unpopular with voters. Please watch theembedded following video under "Media" below, to learn more about the project.

Sources: USA TodayProgressive Railroading

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