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Change Of Destination Expected For High Speed Rail

California High Speed Rail Authority
file photo

A big change appears to be in the works for California’s high speed rail project. Valley Public Radio’s Jeffrey Hess has more.

The original plan was to connect cities in the Central Valley to Burbank in Southern California with the first functional stretch of track. Now according to multiple media reports, the High-Speed Rail Authority appears ready to run the first trains from Bakersfield to San Jose.

The rail authority is expected to release a report tomorrow detailing the need for the change.

Among the reasons: the northern stretch can be finished and operating sooner, the need to shore up political support, and concerns about the cost and challenges of tunneling through the Tehachapi and San Gabriel Mountains.

Construction is already more than 2-years behind schedule.

Opponents of high speed rail were quick to criticize the possible change as more evidence that the project is unfeasible and has grown far beyond what voters approved in 2008.