High speed rail is looking more and more like full steam ahead for California.
President Barack Obama on Thursday awarded the High Speed Rail Authority a $2.25 billion stimulus grant to get going on construction. That’s just a small chunk of the estimated $42 billion needed for the 800-mile long project.
Obama announced $8 billion in funding for high speed rail projects throughout the country, with California receiving the largest portion. But there is a string attached to this grant: The authority must begin construction by September 2012 and finish up five years after that. The first phase of the project will run between San Francisco and Anaheim.
Although the bullet train won't come all the way south to the border, track improvements and replacements will speed rail traffic between Los Angeles and San Diego, thanks to nearly $100 million more in federal funds for California, reported the Los Angeles Times.
One stop along the proposed route would assume someone just put a bullet in the bullet train. The City of Palo Alto is upset that the 200 mph trains could some day come whipping down the Caltrain tracks that run through its town. Leaders are afraid of the vibration and noise that could come with it.
Just this past week, the City Council agreed to commit another $88,000 to fight the proposed route, bringing their total war chest to $130,000. The city will use the money to commission a study in support of their argument and also for a lobbyist to represent their position in Sacramento.