Construction begins on California bullet train

January 6, 2015

CA bullet trainState workers will begin construction Tuesday on the California high-speed rail project, which if completed, would link Los Angeles to San Francisco. [LA Times]

A groundbreaking ceremony on the $68 billion project will take place at the planned site of the downtown station in Fresno. Workers are then expected to begin building the first 29-mile stretch of rail, connecting Fresno to Madera.

Over the last two years, lawsuits against the project held up construction. The state won a series of court challenges and received a federal exemption from California environmental rules.

But, the California High-Speed Rail Authority has yet to secure even half of the funding needed for the project.

In 2008, California voters approved a $9 billion bond measure for the project. Since then, the Obama Administration committed $3.2 billion of grants, and the Legislature devoted 25 percent of future cap-and-trade revenues to the railway.

Cap-and-trade proceeds are expected to net the state $250 million to $1 billion annually. High-speed rail officials are also counting on money from private investors, as well as additional federal funds.

Rail officials must also purchase hundreds of parcels held by private landowners. The state, thus far, has only acquired 101 of the 526 parcels needed to build the first 29 miles.

Completion of the entire project is scheduled for 2028.



  1. Myself says:

    I have yet to run across anyone that voted for this money pit, I see nothing but waste in the whole program,going thru the rural valley with all the odd ball roads to cross,cattle grazing to cross the environmental mess this will be,all the indian groups will be fighting over whose bones are buried somewhere costing us the taxpayer even more money.
    This train to to nowhere needs to be stopped,I can’t believe that judges so far have not stopped this mess.
    Brown the governor that sunk California,I don’t understand how he didn’t get flushed the last election,just about anything would be better than this.

    (4) 6 Total Votes - 5 up - 1 down
  2. r0y says:

    Why have I never heard anyone – far left or far right – that thinks this is anywhere near a good idea? Not a soul I’ve spoken to thinks this is anything but a colossal waste of time and money.

    Will this be California’s “Big Dig” where we can expect the federal government to send hundreds of millions our way each year?

    (8) 12 Total Votes - 10 up - 2 down
    • Slowerfaster says:

      DAYUM ! The gubmint’s gonna take away our covered wagons !

      (-11) 13 Total Votes - 1 up - 12 down
      • r0y says:

        I used to think you often were not on the same page as the discussion… lately, I’m wondering if you even have the book.

        (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
    • obispan says:

      No one supports it because it is a huge waste of money. In fact the more true and passionate advocate of government funding for public transportation the more you are against it. It does not matter where you are on the political spectrum. This is plain stupid. This money could be used, as efficiently as a government project can be, for extensive light-rail projects to unclog the freeways or other common-sense public transportation infrastructure.

      (6) 8 Total Votes - 7 up - 1 down
    • zaphod says:

      Boss Coal

      (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  3. Slowerfaster says:

    Technophobia and FUD .

    (-10) 10 Total Votes - 0 up - 10 down
    • r0y says:

      I truly pray that you are, in fact, a paid political hack. If not, please seek professional help and fast.

      (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  4. Rich in MB says:

    Why are you surprised?
    This is how Government works. They promise one thing, give another and then Lie and attack you for pointing it out.

    The left loves to say “This is what Democracy Looks Like”

    But friends, Romans, Countrymen…
    This is what Democratic Party Government Looks like!

    (6) 14 Total Votes - 10 up - 4 down
    • zaphod says:

      Wow today’s Tea Party haiku

      (-6) 10 Total Votes - 2 up - 8 down
    • Slowerfaster says:

      You are under the misapprehension that you are living in Italy during the First millennia.

      (-9) 9 Total Votes - 0 up - 9 down
  5. slojustice says:

    You want to read something interesting. Senator Fienstein’s husband is one of the biggest benefactors of this project. This is going to do nothing but put piles of money in the well connected peoples pockets. And at the same time the hammering of the middle class continues.

    (13) 17 Total Votes - 15 up - 2 down
  6. isoslo says:

    This will go down in history as the biggest waste of money ever. When the next down economic cycle comes and people complain about the government having to cut services and lay off people just think of this colossal waste of resources. It is not a question of whether a high speed train will be cool, it will, it is a choice of what is the best use of limited resources. I thought democrats wanted more money for mental health programs, or education or protecting the environment, well those programs will be losers due to the bullet train to nowhere sucking up all the resources. This is nothing more than a union payoff for supporting the democratic party in ever election cycle.

    (11) 15 Total Votes - 13 up - 2 down
  7. Kevin Rice says:

    Soon, travel from LA to San Francisco will be possible in only eight hours.

    (8) 12 Total Votes - 10 up - 2 down
  8. marcusaurelius says:


    (8) 10 Total Votes - 9 up - 1 down
  9. Russ J says:

    What a Browndoggle! This project is the biggest waste of money. Our state is full of blithering idiots that voted for this stupid piece of crap. Think of all the double deck freeways that could be built to unclog the cesspool of traffic in L.A. Just think of all the bike paths that could be built across the communities of this state (ever try to ride a bike between most of our SLO cities?) It’s a huge scam by bureaucrat leeches and huge construction interests to just bleed the tax base. This will be a huge POS that won’t go anywhere very fast.

    (18) 26 Total Votes - 22 up - 4 down
    • marcusaurelius says:

      you hit the nail on the head.

      (8) 14 Total Votes - 11 up - 3 down
      • r0y says:

        Oh, you missed a great opportunity:

        “You hit the RAIL SPIKE on the head!”

        Oh well.

        (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
    • ml1999 says:

      Wait a minute, I think voters were told it would cost $10 Billion and be completed a lot, lot faster. Now we’re at $65 Billion and counting?
      Ludicrous! We’ll be lucky to complete it under $100 B.

      Adding a 3rd lane to Highway 5 would be so much cheaper, the bridges are already there, and the center median is huge.

      BART could have been funded to encircle the Bay to San Jose, we could add more capacity in LA, etc.


      (11) 19 Total Votes - 15 up - 4 down

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