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Going Nowhere Fast: 1st Leg of High Speed Rail Approved

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As expected, the California High-Speed Rail Authority board approved a 65-mile section in the Central Valley as the first leg in the state's massive project, according to LA Now. However, the remote location, and the fact that the line would not actually run trains until more segments of the system are built, have some calling this a train to nowhere.

Connecting Borden and Corcoran with stops in Fresno and Hanford, supporters of the costly rail project in the Central Valley are happy to have the first segment in their region, hoping the jobs and $4.15 billion price tag will help revive their sagging local economy.

As part of the rail segment, "tracks, station platforms, bridges and viaducts," must be built. "The initial section, however, will not be equipped with maintenance facilities, locomotives, passenger cars or an electrical system necessary to power high-speed trains."

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While ultimately the ambitious project will link Anaheim to San Francisco, supporters wish to silence critics by reminding them that such a project must be done in segments. However, with funding for those other segments still uncertain, some disapprove of starting the project in a less urban area. Also, it's not clear how long the tracks will sit unused.