1.jpg

Funding Secured for First Phase of California High-Speed Rail

An important step in making California high-speed rail a reality has recently been announced in a California High-Speed Rail Authority press release.  The announcement reveals that the authority and the Federal Railroad Administration have signed a cooperative agreement, which will allot $928 million for the first phase of high-speed rail construction.  With this agreement, it is confirmed that enough funding has been secured for the design, engineering and construction of the first 130 miles of high-speed rail.  Construction is now confirmed to begin in Fresno in the fall of 2012.  The nearly $1 billion in funds  are a combination of intercity rail and hihg-speed rail  awards from October 2010 and May 2011.  According to authority chairman, Thomas J. Umber, “The announcement of the federal funds makes good on the promise of our new draft business plan that the funding for the first segment is identified, committed and we are moving forward.” The Central Valley phase is planned to be completed in 5 years and will create 100,000 jobs over this span.

With the first phase of construction for California’s high-speed rail project confirmed for 2012, there will certainly be mixed reactions throughout the state.  There is surely going to be a great deal of frustration, anger and disappointment for those in the Central Valley that fear high-speed rail will ruin their communities and have been protesting the project since it was first introduced.  For high-speed rail supporters, the announcement is great news, especially because of the long list of funding issues and lawsuits that the project has had to overcome to get to this point.  Although funding for the Central Valley is completely secured, it still must be remembered that it is only the first hurdle in making California high-speed rail a reality.  Nevertheless,  it should still be considered a victory for the High-Speed Rail Authority and the transportation future of California.

      

{ 7 comments }

Rotties4 November 27, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Just what California needs is more debt. Oh! did I mean more debt for the tax payers thinks to Our Once Great President and trying to bring down the United States of America. His idealogy of fake improvements on HIS economy. This will cost us a fortune and will probably never get finished. God help us please.

david November 27, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Go for it we do need job

Miguel Central Valley November 27, 2011 at 5:52 pm

I completely support California taking the lead in building a statewide bullet-train system that will become a tangible model and powerful impetus for the creation of a nationwide high-speed rail system. The United States of America is decades behind Germany and Japan, which have achieved national high-speed rail networks. Other countries that have established bullet-train systems include: China, Spain, France, Italy, Russia, Turkey, Taiwan, Uzbekistan­­, S. Korea, Belgium, the Netherland­­s, the U.K., & Switzerlan­­d.

To those who think that this system is un-affordab­le, impractica­l, or impossible­: It’s time to change our self-defeating (and too insulated) mindsets! Several countries – both geographic­ally smaller than the USA, and geographic­ally larger/sim­ilar-sized to the USA – have already created successful­, efficient, high-speed rail systems.

We need to eliminate our addiction to petroleum. People need to have a way of getting around the country that doesn’t include gas-guzzli­ng cars in freeways. Bullet trains create many long-term jobs. And they’re cool! And they’ll promote business activity all around the train stations: I personally know small busi­ness owners who would be very interested in opening up shops (restauran­ts, retail, cafes, bookstores­, etc.) around the bullet-tra­in stations. California especially needs to promote walking and walkable districts, socially-c­onnected neighborho­ods and communities, and efficient mass-trans­it systems [Do we really need any more convincing in light of LA’s nightmare traffic and thick smog, which is getting worse??] We really need to end our car-depend­ent suburban sprawling.

The USA does not have a “debt” crisis: we have a crisis of imbalance. The USA is the richest country in the history of the world: the problem today is that most of the wealth and power is concentrated in the hands of the (oligarchic) few. Tax the rich, jail the bankers, slash the imperial warmongering budget — and we will have the funds for efficient mass transit, free public education, free public universal healthcare, and clean energy technology advancement.

ray November 27, 2011 at 6:29 pm

Please show me the long list of rail projects that came in on budget and I will back such a project. Have a look at how bad North County San Diego’s rail project went over budget and it was a fairly small project and will never be in the black. More like another anchor around the taxpayers necks.

Sorry train lovers it is and will never again be cost effective to build this kind of system. Most of the existing system was built with dirt cheap imported labor a long time ago.

1 billion dollars for the first round of funding ???? Sounds like another endless money pit with a few jobs created.
Please look at how many jobs have been created by the stimulus package and cost to the tax payer per job. It will make you cringe in the worst kind of way!!!!! Keep looking…………

DaveM November 28, 2011 at 2:47 pm

ray November 27, 2011 at 6:29 pm
Please show me the long list of road projects that came in on budget and I will back such a project. Have a look at how bad moste road projects went over budget and it was a fairly small project and will never be in the black. More like another anchor around the taxpayers necks.

Sorry car lovers it is and will never again be cost effective to maintain this kind of system. Most of the existing system was built with dirt cheap imported labor a long time ago.

1 billion dollars for the first round of funding ???? Sounds like another endless money pit with a few jobs created.
Please look at how many jobs have been created by the stimulus package and cost to the tax payer per job. It will make you cringe in the worst kind of way!!!!! Keep looking…………

…Works both ways my friend

Dan November 27, 2011 at 6:35 pm

Thinking outside of the box – why can’t the new generation of rail projects look at using the hanging/gondola style rail design. Benefits: 1) less right-of-way issues and land acquistition costs, 2) less traffic accidents and traffic waiting on trains to pass, 3) the hanging train would be covered by a roof that can support miles of solar panels, 4) the roof would completely elminate weather issues that affect rail lines, 5) significantly less maintenance cost over time.

Jacob B. November 27, 2011 at 10:55 pm

I can’t believe they’re going to spend so much money on a train system between North and South CA. The number of travelers using this train isn’t nearly even close to the number of commuters in Los Angeles, for example. Why don’t they invest all these money in developing really useful public transportation system, like in New York, thus offloading our highway overload. It will serve real purpose and solve real problems.
Sometimes I’m just wondering who are those idiots in the committees.

Previous post:

Next post: