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High-Speed Rail Doubles Size, Says Hello To Bakersfield

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In a unanimously vote on Monday, officials decided to nearly double in length the first segment of California’s planned high-speed rail line to curb concern that the initial route would not reach major population centers in the Central Valley, reports The Signal. At an additional cost of $616 million in federal funding, the rail segment will now be extended to Bakersfield.

Earlier this month, after Ohio and Wisconsin decided not to go forth with their rail projects, $1.2 billion in high-speed rail funding was re-allocated to CA and 11 other states . This announcement comes a week after the proposal to build the first 65 miles of an 800-mile-long, high-speed rail line through California’s agricultural core.

Santa Clarita Mayor Marsha McLean, has been critical of the "steel-on-steel technology" the rail authority has proposed to use, saying Japan, India and France have rail systems that use magnets to propel trains and are less costly to maintain, reports The Signal. Although trains are planned to travel near the Santa Clarita Valley no train stations are proposed for the SCV.