Friday, 15 November, 2019

California Governor Newsom pulls plug on LA-SF high-speed train

California High Speed Rail construction Gary Reyes TNS Newscom
Deanna Wagner | 13 February, 2019, 09:30

California Gov. Gavin Newsom is preparing to deliver his first State of the State address a day after declaring he wouldn't participate in the Trump administration's "political theater" over border security.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom discusses his decision to withdraw most of the National Guard troops from the nation's southern border and changing their mission, during a Capitol news conference Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, in Sacramento, Calif. Maj.

But Newsom's speech went beyond immigration and other disagreements with the White House to his own ambitious policy goals for the state. It was a chance to lay out his vision for leading the world's fifth largest economy, a state that is home to some one in eight Americans.

But the only time the governor mentioned Trump's name was to praise him.

'Let's be real, ' the Democrat Newsom said in his first State of the State address on Tuesday in Sacramento.

"This is a bipartisan issue - at least it should be - and I hope he follows through, and takes the lead of California in the process", he said.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom says he's ending the state's effort to build a high-speed rail line between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The cost of building the train, at last estimate, was put at $77 billion and wouldn't be completed until 2033, the Associated Press reported.

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Concept art shows the planned high-speed train that was to have run from San Francisco to Los Angeles. He rejected the idea critics have raised that it will be a "train to nowhere" and said it can help revitalize the economically depressed region.

"Let's get something done once and for all", he said, arguing the Central Valley should not be left out of the project's "economic transformation".

The Trump administration has not yet responded to Newsom's announcement.

He said during his State of the State speech that he's refocusing on finishing a segment of rail in the Central Valley that's already under construction.

But other Republicans scorned the governor for trying to have it both ways. California has spent $5.4 billion on the train so far. Jeff Stone, R-La Quinta. "That's not what people were promised, and the project should be killed outright".

The FAQ page said, "totally overhaul transportation by massively expanding electric vehicle manufacturing, build charging stations everywhere, build out high-speed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary, create affordable public transit available to all, with goals to replace every combustion-engine vehicle" in the next 10 years.

At the California High-Speed Rail Authority's monthly board meeting, Roy Hill, who heads the project's main consulting firm, said the project has reached a "worst-case scenario" of increases unanticipated by the rail authority, but widely predicted outside the halls of state government, even in a confidential analysis by the Federal Railroad Administration.

Former California Gov. Jerry Brown agreed to deploy troops at the Trump administration's request past year, although he said they couldn't participate in immigration enforcement.