“[F]ive months before voters decide whether to approve bonds for the high-speed rail line from Los Angeles to San Francisco, the $30-billion project has hit a new obstacle.
An old-guard railroad is declining to share its right-of-way.
Officials at Union Pacific railroad recently told the California High Speed Rail Authority that they have safety and operational concerns about running a bullet train close to lumbering freight trains.”
“High-speed rail promoters say the freight hauler’s hard-line stand may simply be a bargaining ploy, and could be overcome in any case by buying adjacent land.”
“A prominent environmental group and several railroad advocacy organizations, however, contend that Union Pacific’s refusal will prove a formidable challenge to the project at a key moment. California voters will be asked in November to approve nearly $10 billion in bonds to help finance construction.”
“If voters approve the November ballot measure, project backers hope to get another $10 billion in financing from the federal government and an equal amount from private investors. Construction then could start in two to three years, and the first high-speed trains might be rolling within a decade, Morshed said.”
UPDATE: And for those who like visuals, a whole host of California High-Speed Rail animations and images. And no, none of hitting a freight train.
∙ Union Pacific blocks Los Angeles to San Francisco bullet train [LA Times]
∙ San Francisco’s Transbay Terminal: Website And Community Meeting [SocketSite]
∙ California High-Speed Rail Authority [ca.gov]