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Metro is 'Big-Time Unhappy' with High Speed Rail Route

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One of the first segments to be built in California' 800-mile high speed rail network is the small Los Angeles to Anaheim segment, which is expected to see trains every five minutes. But as with anything in a first-of-its-kind project of this magnitude--L.A. to San Francisco in less than three hours--controversy is rearing its head. "We are big-time unhappy with the conduct of the high-speed authority," Metro CEO Art Leahy said, as quoted in the LA Times. "I really can't understand their approach. In many cases they've ridden roughshod over the host of cities in Orange County and in Los Angeles. They have ignored input and there are assumptions that are just astonishing."

But it isn't just ignoring input, critics claim, it's a host of other actions and ideas. For one, building separate high speed rail tracks could mean condemning hundreds of home and using eminent domain on various pieces of private property. Local officials say there is no need to double existing track and service and that $2 billion could be saved by sharing track with Metrolink and Amtrak trains, both which have the potential to also go 110 mph if track improvements are made. And some do not understand why the rail authority is beginning with a small spur.

A rail authority spokesman told the Times that a share-use option had been studied in previous years before the route was scrapped. The recent political pressure, however, could force the authority to re-look at those options.