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Bullet train cost estimates rise to $98.5 billion

November 01, 2011

California's bullet train will cost an estimated $98.5 billion to build over the next 22 years, a price nearly double any previous projection and one likely to trigger political sticker shock, according to a business plan scheduled to be unveiled Tuesday.

In a key change, the state has decided to stretch out the construction schedule by 13 years, completing the Southern California-to-Bay Area high speed rail in 2033 rather than 2020.

The delay allows inflation to drive up the price over the additional years of construction.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority, the state agency running the project, plans to unveil the new business plan in a news conference Tuesday morning in Sacramento.

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Union Pacific says risks could arise as bullet trains sail past the company's freight lines. Above, a Union Pacific rail yard in Rialto. Credit: Irfan Khan, Los Angeles Times / May 13, 2004

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