High-Speed Rail

Published on July 25th, 2014 | by Christopher DeMorro


Private Investors Boost California’s High-Speed Rail Ambitions

July 25th, 2014 by  


California’s ambitions for a statewide high-speed rail network seemed to have been derailed after a lawsuit kept some $10 billion of taxpayer bonds out of reach. But a recent budget agreement passed by Governor Jerry Brown seems to be attracting private investors that could put high-speed rail back on track.

Planetzien reports that Governor Brown has guaranteed the San Francisco-to-Los-Angeles its first steady cash flow from the state’s cap-and-trade efforts on carbon-producing industries. The money could reach more than $750 million annually, helping speed along production of a high-speed rail network whose costs have risen to some $68 billion. Investors from France’s Vinci Concessions and L.A.-based AECOM are among the first signs of interest from private entites, who have largely steered clear of the troubled project.

A number of anti-rail lawsuits from farmers, conservatives, and even environmentalists still stand in the way of completing the network, which has some investors still sitting on the sidelines. California’s high-speed rail is far from a done deal, and there have even been calls for scrapping the whole project and starting fresh.

If private investors get involved though, it could definitely help bring the ambitious plan together, and give California a head start on our nation’s first high-speed rail network.

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About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.

  • jeffhre


  • Jack Calvino

    I know, Bob Wallace. As a regular Amtrak customer in the Northeast Corridor, I say to myself when I read all this opposition to the California project, “Why don’t opponents actually take a train somewhere before they cry out against the project.” Amtrak in the Northeast has turned me from a car-driver to a “take rail whenever I can” commuter.

    • Bob_Wallace

      You’re right. Even the “slow” Amtrak trains are superior to driving or flying. I took the Amtrack from DC to Baltimore a few weeks ago and it was a snap. It would be even better for a long trip.

  • Matt

    Just back from China and let me say. China HSR is soooooo smooth. Pull into a city (on/off) and moving again in mins. 310-320 Kph and the acceleration only really tell by watching the numbers.

  • DGW

    Hyperloop has a better chance of ever happening and would be far less expensive but that’s not the point.

  • Indeed…

  • andereandre

    Just don’t bring them to the Netherlands, our HSL has been a total failure.
    I have my doubts about this project, the price seems to be much higher than comparable projects in other countries (but I can see why it would be so expensive in California considering geography).
    Ten to twenty years before it is ready, 68 billion dollars and probably double that; for that money and in that time there could be a lot of self driving EV’s on the road. Environmental as good, and address to address probably as fast.
    They should have done this 10 years ago, I think that it is the wrong bet now.

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