Trains For America

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Politicians Debate California High-Speed Rail Route

 KCBS continues its’ excellent coverage.

Altamont PassSAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)  — High-speed rail supporters are relieved that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger reserved $20 million of the state budget for a bullet train, but politicians are now arguing which alignment makes the most sense.

Assemblyman Jim Beall said it would be a mistake to run the high-speed trains through the Altamont Pass rather than the Pacheco Pass.

“If it was built in the Altamont Pass, it would not be high-speed rail,” said Beall. “It would be going at an average speed, from Tracy, at about a hundred miles an hour. And I don’t call that high-speed rail.”

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed agrees.

“The Pacheco Pass alignment creates a high ridership starter service, providing a direct connection between San Francisco, San Jose, Silicon Valley, and Los Angeles on a single line,” said Reed.

Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren said the debate reminds her of a previous decision.

“I remember as a child, when a mistake was made and we decided not to bring BART to the South Bay,” said Lofgren. “The decision on which alignment to take is of that magnitude.”

Several East Bay politicians have used similar arguments to push for the Altamont Pass option.

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Filed under: Passenger Rail Politics, Passenger Rail Transportatio Policy, United States High Speed Rail

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