State halts high-speed railroad plan

Jessa Glassman

With roughly 120 miles of track already under construction in the Central Valley of California, Governor Gavin Newsom decided to halt plans to build a high-speed railroad that would have spanned from Los Angeles to San Francisco.

“The project, as currently planned, would cost too much and take too long,” Newsom said during his first State of the State address. “There’s been too little oversight and not enough transparency.”

The railroad would have spanned 800 miles and reached speeds nearing 220 miles per hour. The construction was halted after the Trump administration’s decision to cancel the transfer of $929 million in grant funds.

Newsom said the funding cut is a political move.

“It’s no coincidence that the Administration’s threat comes 24 hours after California led 16 states in challenging the President’s farcical ‘national emergency,’” Newsom said in a statement to the Los Angeles Times.

Chief of the Federal Railroad Administration Ronald Batory claimed that the cut was a result of the state failing to comply with a grant agreement by not spending required matching funds, not submitting financial information and missing expected deadlines. The state administration is also seeking legal means to get back the original $2.5 billion grant.

George Grube ’20 said that he thinks the railroad would have made a strong impact on both California and the world at large.

“The high speed rail could’ve been the future for California,” Grube said. “We are the eighth largest economy in the world and have to set the example.”