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California goes after all of Florida's high-speed rail money

(The following appeared on the Los Angeles Times website on March 31, 2011.)

LOS ANGELES — California high-speed rail officials voted Wednesday to seek an additional $2.43 billion in federal construction funds recently relinquished by Florida’s new Republican governor.

The money would permit the state to extend an initial, Central Valley leg of the proposed 800-mile system.

The chances of getting the entire Florida allocation are doubtful, but California has received some of the largest federal grants in the nation under the Obama administration’s push to develop a bullet train network similar to those in Europe and the Far East.

Even getting a majority of the cash, coupled with state match funds, would allow the California High-Speed Rail Authority to extend the starter track from Merced to Bakersfield, officials said. Work already is slated to begin next year on a $5.5- billion section of rail, viaducts and stations from Fresno to the outskirts of Bakersfield.

The full story is on the Los Angeles Times website.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

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