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RAIL EMPLOYMENT & NOTICES



Rail News Home High-Speed Rail

12/3/2010



Rail News: High-Speed Rail

CHSRA approves construction starting point


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Yesterday, the California High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) board signed off on a plan to start high-speed rail construction on a 65-mile segment of track stretching from Madera to Corcoran.

The segment will feature new stations in downtown Fresno and Hanford. CHSRA officials chose the segment, which will cost $4.15 billion to build, because it would make the best use of the $4.3 billion currently available in construction funds, and meet all state and federal legal requirements, according to a Nov. 24 press release.

While some elected officials have said the Madera-to-Corcoran segment is an illogical point to start construction because it doesn’t connect any of the major cities included in the state’s high-speed rail plan, CHSRA says the route would leave the authority with enough money to connect the high-speed tracks with existing rail lines. In addition, the 65-mile section would provide the greatest flexibility to continue construction in either direction, according to the authority.

“We’re in the business of connecting major metropolitan centers across our state, and we won’t have a true high-speed rail system until we tie every part of this state together,” said CHSRA Vice Chairman Tom Umberg in a prepared statement. “It’s not one town or one region versus another, it’s about connecting one region to another.”

Last month, the Federal Railroad Administration directed CHSRA to use all federal funds awarded for the project through the stimulus bill and FY2010 appropriations bill for a single section in the Central Valley. CHSRA can’t begin construction until the authority completes its environmental review. The federal deadline to complete the review is September 2011, CHSRA said.


Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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