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High-Speed Rail’s Cost Estimates Get Good Grades From Accountability Office

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California High-Speed Rail

Rendering of a high-speed rail train. (CA High-Speed Rail Authority)

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SACRAMENTO (CBS/AP) — The federal Government Accountability Office gave good grades to the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s business plan to build a $68 billion bullet train.

In a report given Thursday to members of Congress, the GAO says the authority’s ridership and revenue forecasts were reasonable. It could not assess whether the authority’s projected costs were feasible, but said the California agency was following most of the GAO’s best practices in making its predictions.

The biggest hurdle remained money. The report said a funding gap of $39 billion was unlikely to be filled by the federal government given the current political climate in Congress.

Rail officials planned to start work this summer on the first stretch of track and have said they will not start other segments until funding is secured.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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