All aboard! California is getting on the fast track to high-speed rail. The state is getting more than $2.3 billion in federal economic-stimulus funds. The bulk of the money will go toward a statewide high-speed rail line project.
The funding will be used for four segments of the project: Los Angeles to Anaheim, San Jose to San Francisco, Fresno to Merced, and Bakersfield to Fresno.
Some Democrats are touting it as a national rail-building program that could rival the interstate highways begun in the Eisenhower era.
The White House is doling out $8 billion in total grants for high-speed rail projects, an initiative touted as a jobs creator.
"High-speed rail will bring jobs to California when we need them most, building a sustainable and state-of-the-art transit network," said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
Thirteen rail corridors in 31 states will receive funds. California was awarded $2.34 billion, the largest amount of any state in the nation. Of that amount, $2.25 billion will be dedicated for high-speed rail, while the remainder will go toward regional transit projects.
"State leaders fought hard for this investment because it means jobs, jobs, jobs for Californians," said Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Construction could start as early as next year.