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Rail News: High-Speed Rail

San Diego government association joins with other agencies to push for HSR funds, upgrade coastal corridor


On Feb. 24, the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) board voted to join a group of other southern California transit agencies to vie for $1 billion in high-speed rail funds that could be used to make improvements to a coastal rail corridor, according to an article posted on the San Diego Union-Tribune’s website.

Other agencies on board include the California Association of Governments, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Association, Riverside County Transportation Commission, SANDAG, San Bernardino Associated Governments and the Southern California Regional Rail Authority.

The agencies are pushing for the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) to release $1 billion in Proposition 1A funds from the $9 billion high-speed rail bond referendum, as well as $950 million in 1A funds already committed for local and regional transit services that would feed into the high-speed system. The agencies would use the money to upgrade the Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo rail corridor, commonly referred to as the LOSSAN corridor.

In San Diego, money could help expedite the completion of 12 projects aimed at double-tracking the corridor, replacing bridges, upgrading crossings and realigning track. The projects are valued at more than $700 million.

In January, SANDAG officials sent a letter to CHSRA commenting on the authority’s draft business plan and expressing concerns that high-speed rail might never reach San Diego. Investing in the LOSSAN corridor — the second-busiest rail corridor in the country — would be a good first start, officials said in the letter.

CHSRA officials are expected to review the agencies’ bid for the funds this week, according to the Union-Tribune.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/27/2012