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Phil Matier: Thank Florida For Funding California’s High Speed Rail

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SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) – It’s a major shot in the arm for California’s high speed rail: the Obama administration has pledged as much as $300 million for the project.

The money is actually a financial castoff of sorts from the state of Florida, which lost out on the cash when it scrapped its plans for high speed rail service.

Florida’s decision not to pursue high speed rail service actually leaves $2 billion in federal funds up for grabs. The Department of Transportation elected to distribute that money amongst 15 states, including California, and Amtrak.

KCBS and Chronicle Insider Phil Matier Comments:

The largest share of the money, close to $800 million, has been earmarked for train upgrades along the Northeast corridor. Another $400 million is going to expand high speed rail service in the Midwest.

California’s roughly $300 million share will be used for a 20-mile stretch of the rail project in the Central Valley. Eventually, the line will extend from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

KCBS’ Holly Quan Reports:

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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