Federal government demands funds for rail system

California’s proposed $43 billion high-speed rail system may get its start in the Central Valley after the federal government declared that it wants all $3 billion of its initial funding for the project to go toward one segment between either Fresno and Merced or Fresno and Bakersfield.

Many thought that the first segment to be built would be from Los Angeles to Anaheim because the engineering on that section had progressed further.

However, officials want to get the federal funding into the economy quickly, create jobs rapidly and have an operational piece of the system going as soon as possible.

The Central Valley segment would provide this opportunity by quicker construction in less congested areas.

Eventually, the system should link from San Francisco and Sacramento down through San Diego.