www.latimes.com 10th December 2010
The US government’s hopes of creating a nationwide railway network have been dented following Ohio and Wisconsin’s attempts to spend state funding on the project elsewhere. The Republican governors of the two states turned down the $1.2 billion dollars to develop a high-speed railway system and instead asked the government whether the money could be spent on other proposals. Their request was denied by US Secretary of Transport Ray LaHood and the funds have been promised to remaining 11 states which still plan to go ahead with the project. California received the largest portion of this distribution bringing the total pledged for its bullet train network to $5.5 billion (of which $3.18 billion is from the national government). Work on the line is expected to begin in 2012 with the California state rail board approving the construction of the first segment between Corcoran and Borden. Trains should be able to travel up to 220mph along a 520 mile route when completed. Some observers have suggested that government funds may not make it to California though as a growing body of politicians, all Republicans, want to rein back government spending to tackle the $1.3 trillion federal deficit.