Feds Greenlight Initial Construction - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

California High Speed Rail

Feds Greenlight Initial Construction

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The Surface Transportation Board gave the nod today for California High-Speed Rail Authority to start building the initial 65 miles of the bullet train project from Merced to Fresno.

The Federal board gave the approval, despite growing opposition from some members of Congress.

California Congressman Jeff Denham, the chairman of the Subcomittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials, held a roundtable discussion last week, where he stated federal billions being spent on California's High-Speed Rail Project could be better spent upgrading Amtrak on the East Coast.

"The Northeast Corridor is the most highly trafficked rail corridor in the country, and Amtrak's sole money making enterprise," said Denham, whose district is in the Central Valley. "Infrastructure upgrades in this corridor are essential to continue to serve a proven and dedicated ridership that continues to expand. I believe the $6 billion that was given to the California High Speed Rail Authority could be better spent on such upgrades, as these projects are both clearly identified, and necessary beyond dispute."

Fox 11 investigative producer Heidi Cuda has this story.

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