Around Town | December 24, 2010 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - December 24, 2010

Around Town

A FAILURE TO COMMUNICATE ... After enduring a month of "train from nowhere to nowhere" jokes from critics around the state, the California High-Speed Rail Authority decided this week to come up with a new plan for the first segment of the $45 billion rail line. The first segment, which was slated to stretch from the small city of Corcoran to the unincorporated community of Borden in the Central Valley, would now extend further south to Bakersfield, the authority's board of directors decided Monday. But the reason for the switch had less to do with ridicule and more to do with an unexpected gift the authority received from the Federal Railroad Administration: $616 million in federal funding. The FRA decided to allocate these funds to California after original grant recipients Wisconsin and Ohio decided to scrap their fledgling rail programs. Tom Umberg, the vice chairman of the rail authority's board of directors, began Monday's meeting by thanking the two Midwest states for their "generosity." "I actually grew up in Ohio, and I'm familiar with the hospitality of the Midwest, but this year they've really outdone themselves," Umberg said. "Just a word to folks in Ohio and Wisconsin, we're grateful and would be happy to receive other gifts of that nature." Under the present plan, the rail line would ultimately stretch from San Francisco to Los Angeles and later extend to Sacramento and San Diego.

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