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Board OKs 1st Segment Of California High-Speed Rail

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — California high-speed rail officials have approved a proposal to build the first segment of the state’s high-speed rail line in the Central Valley.

Seven members of the California High Speed Rail Authority voted unanimously Thursday to spend $4.3 billion to lay 65 miles of track between a small town north of Fresno to Corcoran.

The vote follows a presentation by staff engineers, who explained that the route will allow the track to connect to an existing freight rail line used by Amtrak.

The authority is under a tight deadline to pick a route and enter a funding agreement with the Federal Railroad Administration by the end of the year. The government requires that the rail line can be useable whether or not the full, 800-mile system gets completed.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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