In major win for high-speed rail, judge rejects claims by Kings County foes of bullet train

By Tim Sheehan : sacbee – excerpt – (vide0)

Sacramento court denies Kings County effort to halt project. Judge cites ‘substantial concern,’ but no violation of Proposition 1A.

Stuart Flashman, an attorney for Kings County plaintiffs in a civil trial challenging California’s high-speed rail plans and Proposition 1A, talks about the blended system, trip times and financial viability, and California High-Speed Rail Authority spokeswoman Lisa Marie Alley presents the authority’s opinion that its decisions so far are in compliance with Prop. 1A. vide0

In a major setback to foes of the California high-speed rail project, a Sacramento judge rejected claims by opponents in Kings County that plans for the bullet train system violate state law.

Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny, who heard verbal arguments from attorneys Feb. 11, issued the ruling late Friday but the court didn’t release it to the public until Tuesday morning.

The ruling is a major setback to efforts to stop the project, and boosts California’s $64 billion plans to develop a system of high-speed electric trains to ultimately connect Los Angeles and San Francisco, by way of Fresno and the San Joaquin Valley, but Kenny’s ruling is almost certain to be appealed to a state appellate court.

Attorneys for Kings County farmer John Tos, Hanford resident Aaron Fukuda and the Kings County Board of Supervisors argued the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s plans for the system violate Proposition 1A – the $9.9 billion high-speed rail bond measure approved by the state’s voters in 2008 – in several key areas:

  • That a proposed “blended” system in which high-speed trains would share upgraded and electrified tracks with the Caltrain commuter rail line between San Jose and San Francisco is inconsistent with what voters approved in the ballot measure. A switch from dedicated tracks only for high-speed trains on the San Francisco Peninsula was dropped in 2012 in favor of shared tracks to dampen opposition in the Bay Area and to trim about $30 billion from the overall system cost.
  • That the proposed route would be unable to meet Prop. 1A’s requirement to provide a nonstop 2-hour 40-minute ride between San Francisco and Los Angeles under “real-world” travel conditions.
  • That the system would not be financially viable and could not be realistically expected to meet the law’s mandate to cover its operating costs without any subsidy

(more)

Interesting that they are claiming they can pay for it since we are hearing they must rely on private investors to fund it. Guess that is what they mean. They will create a demand by forcing people out of their cars to convince investors they can make a profit on a product that does not exist. Wonder how long that will take if they economic bubble is getting ready to bust as some think.

 

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