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California 'Breaks Ground' On High Speed Rail In Fresno

Jan 6, 2015

More than a thousand supporters of California High Speed Rail filled the barren lot of what is supposed to become a multistory train station in Fresno today for a symbolic groundbreaking.

Nearly two years after construction was supposed to start, and more than six years after voters approved a bond to help fund California high speed rail, state and local leaders met in Fresno’s historic Chinatown today to mark the start of the project’s construction.

On what used to be an old Del Monte packaging site will one day become the site of Fresno's High Speed Rail Terminal.
Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

Instead of shoveling soil to break ground on the project, Governor Jerry Brown marked the event by signing a piece of steel track to symbolize the start of project which he hopes will be part of his legacy.

"The High Speed Rail links us from the past to the future, from the south to Fresno and north. This is truly a California project bringing us together."

“The High Speed Rail links us from the past to the future, from the south to Fresno and north, This is truly a California project bringing us together,” Brown says.

The California High Speed Rail Authority hopes to make the $68 billion bullet train a model for future projects in the country.

But not everyone is on board.  Republican Assembly member Jim Patterson says the groundbreaking is an example of a one party led state. 

“This was a staged event for only those who think this project should be built no matter what the cost and no matter where the money comes from,” Patterson says.

Patterson questions where the funds will come from to build the entire project. Officials say the rail line should run from San Francisco to Los Angeles by the year 2029.