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Proposal Could Bring Bay Area Bullet Train Service Years Earlier

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Artist's conception of a California high-speed rail train. (California High-Speed Rail Authority)

Artist’s conception of a California high-speed rail train. (California High-Speed Rail Authority)

MattBigler20100909_KCBS_0384r Matt Bigler
KCBS's Matt Bigler started as a reporter/anchor in 2004, and is now...
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SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – Bay Area transportation agencies are in talks with the state’s High-Speed Rail Authority to pay for the “electrification” of Caltrain tracks, which would mean bullet trains moving at speeds of up to 110 miles per hour by 2016, 5 to 10 years sooner than had been discussed.

There are even more benefits to electrifying Caltrain, according to supporters.

“It would be cleaner, faster, and better for the Bay Area if Caltrain had these improvements,” said High-Sped Rail chairman Dan Richard. “It lays the groundwork for High Speed Rail to come in to San Francisco.”

The so-called “blended” rail system – combing “regular” rails with electrified rails – would cost an estimated $1 billion, paid for by both High-Speed Rail bond monies and local transportation dollars.
KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

It’s believed that a funding agreement could be reached over the next several months, but it’s by no means a done deal. The Bay Area still has to convince the High-Speed Rail Authority board to include this proposal in its business plan, and the State Legislature would have to agree to pay for the first phase of High-Speed Rail in the Central Valley.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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