Increased Cost, Safety Issues Could Derail the Troubled High Speed Rail Project

FILE - in this Feb. 26, 2015, photo, a full-scale mockup of a high-speed train is displayed at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif. The agency overseeing California's bullet train project has recommended a U.S. subsidiary of a German rail company to help design and operate a Central Valley train segment in its early stages. The California High-Speed Rail Authority's board of directors will vote Oct. 19, 2017, on whether to approve DB Engineering & Consulting USA for the $30 million early operating contract. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)


California’s High-Speed Rail Project and the people organizing it are being separately audited. Assemblyman Jim Patterson says he originally requested the audit on the High-Speed Rail Authority because of dramatic cost increases and uncertainty that the rail would be safe.



The U.S. Department of Transportation is starting a federal audit on the project this month. Patterson says the Authority failed to assure legislators that all safety concerns were being addressed. He says the original package that voters agreed to raise their taxes for has greatly increased and would likely require another vote. At this rate, it could be 2050 before the rail has finished construction and Patterson says he’s not sure it will even be high-speed.