California’s high-speed rail might start with old-school diesel trains

By Kurtis Alexander, San Francisco Chronicle; May 1, 2019

The cost of getting high-speed trains up and running in the Central Valley is expected to jump $1.8 billion, California rail officials said Wednesday, but they have a plan to weather the increase — and that may include starting service with slower diesel trains.

A new report by the California High-Speed Rail Authority details how the state will build and pay for high-speed service between Bakersfield and Merced, now estimated to cost $20.4 billion. It’s the rail authority’s first plan for moving forward with the controversial train project since Gov. Gavin Newsom called for focusing the effort on a 165-mile Central Valley stretch.

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