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Rail News: High-Speed Rail

Southern California transportation officials to lobby for federal high-speed stimulus funds

This week, a group of southern California leaders are heading to Washington, D.C., to urge the U.S. Department of  Transportation to give the region its "fair share" of $8 billion in federal stimulus funds to launch construction on the first leg of the state’s high-speed rail line between Los Angeles and Anaheim.

Transportation officials representing the Los Angeles and Orange County regions include Anaheim Mayor and California High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) Chairman Curt Pringle; CHSRA and Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) board member Richard Katz; Orange County Transportation Authority Chief Executive Officer Will Kempton; LACMTA Chairman Ara Najarian; and LACMTA CEO Art Leahy. The officials will recommend that the federal government provide $2.2 billion for the L.A.-to-Anaheim line, about half of the total $4.7 billion requested by the state of California for high-speed rail funds.

The high-speed rail connection would link two of the densest urban population centers on the West Coast in a less-than-20-minute ride and provide the backbone of the statewide high-speed network, according to a prepared statement.

CHSRA already has completed preliminary environmental reviews for the line. The authority now is developing the segment’s Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Study, which could be released next spring.

The project includes building high-speed train facilities at Los Angeles Union Station, an optional station in Norwalk/Santa Fe Springs and the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center. The project also would include right-of-way acquisition, grade separations, guideway structures, tunneling and trackwork.

Construction could begin as early as 2012 and the line could open in 2018.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/20/2009