TRANSIT: California high-speed train facing legal obstacles

State unable to deliver on funding, earlier promises

High-Speed Rail News January 03, 2014
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A lawsuit filed by Kings County, Calif., residents resulted in a Sacramento County judge rejecting California High-Speed Rail Authority’s funding plan for its high-speed rail project, along with its request for the state treasurer to sell $8.6 billion in bonds.


The judge also claimed the rail plan no longer complies with a 2008 ballot measure that approved $10 billion in rail bonds. Under those provisions, the Authority was to have all funding and necessary environmental clearances before construction began.


Republicans in Congress will hold a subcommittee hearing this month to investigate California’s spending of $3.3 billion in federal funds. According to the funding plan, the state was supposed to match that amount, but has yet to do so. The Republicans say they will block all future funding to the rail line.


In a second pending phase of the lawsuit, plaintiffs hope the judge will block the state from future rail funding.


Meanwhile, the Authority hopes to begin construction in January or February using the $3.3 billion. Construction will make the rail plan hard to repeal and, according to an Authority chairman, the court rulings do not affect construction plans.

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