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4 Facts About California’s High-Speed Rail Plan

How much will it cost:

The current price tag is listed as $68 billion, but it has fluctuated wildly. California's High-Speed Rail Authority says it is still cheaper than building dozens of new airport runways and highways to accommodate a state population expected to hit 46 million by 2035.

Who is paying for it:

The state agency that oversees the project has nearly $10 billion in voter-approved bonds for rail construction and improvements to existing lines, and $3.2 billion in federal financing for the first 130 miles. But no private investors have stepped forward yet, and it is unclear where the rest of the financing will come from. A court case that could delay the project hinges on the state's funding plan.

Where will it go:

Construction will start in the Central Valley, a 30-mile stretch from Madera to Fresno. In future years, the rail line will stretch westward to San Jose and south to Palmdale and the San Fernando Valley. There are currently no plans to link the train lines to Sacramento or San Diego.

When will it be built:

Shovels will be in the ground "within a few months," rail officials say.

Construction work has been repeatedly delayed, and officials face a deadline to finish the first leg by 2017 or risk losing the federal money. Officials initially said it would start last year, then delayed it to summer 2013 and currently say "within a few months." However, engineering, surveying and excavation work has begun.

The high-speed rail business plan says trains will run between the greater Los Angeles area and the San Francisco Bay Area by 2029.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | October 20, 2013 at 11:08 a.m. ― 3 years, 3 months ago

" There are currently no plans to link the train lines to Sacramento or San Diego "


This is a HUGE bait-and-switch.

I voted for this because, at the time, San Diego WAS part of the proposed network.

Taxes of San Diego residents should NOT be used for this since it won't benefit us at all!

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Avatar for user 'SDforward'

SDforward | October 20, 2013 at 1:52 p.m. ― 3 years, 3 months ago

Before this gets going, they should seriously consider the hyperloop idea by Elon Musk ( For such an expensive and long term project, we should be using the technologies of the future, not relying on an essentially 100+ years old mode of transportation.

Plus, we don't need any more trains blaring their horns as they pass through densely populated areas, including in the middle of the night...

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Avatar for user 'RLA'

RLA | October 20, 2013 at 6:37 p.m. ― 3 years, 3 months ago

This is a giant boondoggle and no person will ever ride more than 20 miles of demo track , if that. Lawyers will get most of the money - both the pro rail and the enviros. This is one of the biggest swindles in a long line of state political games.

Don't forget the the millions that will go into political coffers to perpetuate the fraud until it falls apart and the politicians take a victory lap - just not on a high speed train.

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Avatar for user 'Derek'

Derek | October 20, 2013 at 6:55 p.m. ― 3 years, 3 months ago

There are currently plans to link the system to San Diego in Phase 2, but the timetable has not yet been set. San Diego benefits from Prop 1A through track upgrades along the LOSSAN corridor (Metrolink/Coaster/Pacific Surfliner).

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Avatar for user 'ericdamian'

ericdamian | October 21, 2013 at 8:51 a.m. ― 3 years, 3 months ago

Peking Duck is correct. This is one of many reasons a judge ruled in August that HSR violates Prop 1A, which allowed for the $10 billion in bonds in the first place.

In early November the judge will hopefully take the next logical step and stop construction.

To learn more about this, the most expensive project in human history, go to

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | October 21, 2013 at 1:23 p.m. ― 3 years, 3 months ago

I voted for it like Peking Duck and so many others only to see San Diego cut out.

The CA High Speed Rail Authority website states: "The system will eventually extend to Sacramento and San Diego."

What does "eventually" mean?

But this article says "there are currently no plans". So what is the truth?

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | October 22, 2013 at 7:21 a.m. ― 3 years, 2 months ago

PDSD "Taxes of San Diego residents should NOT be used for this since it won't benefit us at all!"

I agree with your conclusion, and with your reasoning.

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