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Congress Cuts High Speed Rail Funding, California Calls for it to be Restored

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The plan in Congress was to put aside $4 billion for high speed rail in 2011 federal appropriations, but it's been cut to 62% of that, down to $2.5 billion. Tomorrow, a group of Southern California leaders are coming together to rally for that funding restoration. Based on data from abroad, a report called "Next Stop: California" will detail how a high-speed rail system will benefit the state.

Tomorrow at 9 a.m., L.A. City Councilmember Richard Alarcon and others will gather at Union Station for the rally. "With demand for high-speed rail across the country exceeding $50 billion, a broad coalition is calling for $4 billion allocation in the 2011 appropriations," explains an advisory from California Public Interest Research Group, which has been advocating for California's high speed rail project.

Construction in California could start as early as 2012, but Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger wants to see something before he leaves office. That's this year, meaning his vision of a demonstration train between Los Angeles and San Diego should get going soon. Transportation advocates call the idea balderdash.