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California rail: We don't need cash -- yet
The $6 billion, 130-mile initial segment in the Central Valley will begin construction this summer, a huge milestone in a decades-long effort to bring the fast trains enjoyed all over the world to the United States. It is an effort with strong backing from the Obama administration to the tune of $3.3 billion, and from California taxpayers, who are pitching in $2.7 billion after a dramatic vote in the state Legislature last summer cemented the project’s future....

Among the big questions that will hang over Richard, Morales and the entire project for years: Where is the other $60 billion going to come from?

The answer is “we don’t know,” Richard said, emphasizing that step-by-step funding is the only viable path to such a large number. And California is taking precautions to make sure that even the Central Valley segment will be useful immediately for the Amtrak system in the state, an effort to avoid the “train to nowhere” moniker still popular among opponents.

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