Paying the Bill for High Speed Rail in California

The prospect of a high speed rail line connecting California's major cities has been appealing to many in the state. But with less than a quarter of the money needed for the project, the risks are hard to ignore.
August 18, 2010, 10am PDT | Nate Berg
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"For California, the lure of its new ride -- a bullet train system capable of whisking passengers between the Bay Area and Los Angeles -- has proved so enticing that the state jumped at the deal, even though it has only a quarter of the money needed.

That's leading some critics to ask whether the state's largest project ever could also prove to be its most financially disastrous.

California is less than two years from the planned start of construction on the nation's first high-speed rail line, which would open in 2020. The trains will zip along the Caltrain corridor from San Francisco to San Jose and then on to Anaheim, a three-hour journey end to end."

How the state will make up the rest of the three-quarters of the costs is still uncertain, and some say the project is doomed to fester in debt for decades. But others remain hopeful that the money will come through, and that the line will be an economic success.

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Published on Sunday, August 15, 2010 in San Jose Mercury News
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