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High Speed Rail Project Might Not Start in Your Lifetime



Will we be able to ride in a high speed rail in our homeland during our life time?  It does not seem very optimistic by the looks of what's going on with such a project in CA.

The controversial proposal has been made about six years ago in California which was approved by the California Legislature.  The first phase in the proposal is for 130 miles of railway that stretches out sparsely populated farm land in Central California for the most part.

The mission statement on California High-Speed Rail Authority's website states:

The California High-Speed Rail Authority is responsible for planning, designing, building and operation of the first high-speed rail system in the nation. California high-speed rail will connect the mega-regions of the state, contribute to economic development and a cleaner environment, create jobs and preserve agricultural and protected lands. By 2029, the system will run from San Francisco to the Los Angeles basin in under three hours at speeds capable of over 200 miles per hour. The system will eventually extend to Sacramento and San Diego, totaling 800 miles with up to 24 stations. In addition, the Authority is working with regional partners to implement a state-wide rail modernization plan that will invest billions of dollars in local and regional rail lines to meet the state’s 21st century transportation needs.

That is one aggressive goals and not sure if it's attainable based on the track records of California government.  One of the latest reports pointed out that only 7% of the estimated 1,100 pieces needed for the first leg (130 miles) has been secured.

Then there is another 381 mile project which consists of sections crossing the 7,680-foot-high Tehachapi Mountain range as well as densely populated Bay Area and LA Basin.

The biggest challenge seem to arise in the acquisition of lands owned by farmers who believe that the prices offered by the CA officials are way off of the fair market value.

The states are taking many of the land owners who refuse to sell the property to court through eminent domain proceedings.  In order for the state to draw favorable outcome from these court cases, they must prove that the project qualifies as a compelling "public interest".

At this rate of progress, the project may take well over 50 years to completion!!



High Speed Rail Project Might Not Start in Your Lifetime Reviewed by Brandon Oh on 3:25 PM Rating: 5

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