Urban Fold

CA HSR Plan B: Amtrak

If high-speed rail fails, 130 miles of track will have to go to Amtrak. But critics say that the backup plan comes with no guarantee that Amtrak would even have to use the tracks and is, therefore, a useless backup plan.

"'Our purpose is to build a high-speed rail system between Northern and Southern California,' said Tom Umberg, the chairman of the California High Speed Rail Authority. 'But if there are any delays, I believe the track will have independent utility and provide increased efficiencies in the Central Valley.'

In a letter sent last year to the authority, Amtrak officials said they supported the project and interim use of the high-speed corridor. They cited potential improvements in travel time and reliability but also cautioned that cost issues and a need for faster locomotives would have to be addressed."

Full Story: High-speed rail's backup plan criticized

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