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High-speed rail agency lashes back after critical report

January 04, 2012

The state agency attempting to build California's proposed bullet train blasted an independent review panel’s report that recommends the Legislature not approve issuing $2.7 billion in bonds to partly pay for the first section of track in the Central Valley.

Just hours after the review panel released its eight-page critique, the California High Speed Rail Authority said the report is “deeply flawed, in some areas misleading and its conclusions are unfounded.”

The sharp reaction is a measure of the high stakes riding on the report's findings, just weeks before Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to ask the Legislature to authorize the construction borrowing.

Under the state law that created the rail program, the California High-Speed Peer Review Group was charged with judging the overall feasibility and reasonableness of the project. On almost every aspect of the project, including capital costs, ridership projections, private-sector participation and future funding sources, the peer review gave a thumbs down.

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-- Ralph Vartabedian, Los Angeles Times

Image: Rendering of proposed California high-speed trains. Credit: California High Speed Rail Authority

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