Governor Schwarzenegger Celebrates $2-Billion Dollar Federal Boost to High-Speed Rail Project

FRESNO, Calif. Unlike other recent valley visits, the governor took to the big stage at the Santa Fe Depot in downtown Fresno to tout a grand vision - high speed rail. The governor said, "We want to make sure that everyone knows that this train is coming through to Fresno and I'm going to fight for every dollar for you and with you."

High speed rail would allow passengers to "fly California" without leaving the ground.

John Porcari, the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Transportation, said, "The day will come when you can travel from San Francisco to Los Angeles in less than three hours going 220 miles an hour."

Fresno Congressman Jim Costa has been pushing for high-speed rail for twenty years. He recalled the governor's early support. Costa said, "Being the world traveler that he is, the iconic personality in Asia, Japan, all throughout Europe said, Jim, I like fast trains."

The governor says the high-speed rail project will ultimately create 600-thousand jobs. Schwarzenegger explained, "We will be more mobile because of that. We will be more productive because of that. We'll enjoy a stronger economy, enjoy stronger tourism."

Valley cities like Fresno, Madera and Merced are now competing to land the high speed rail maintenance facility and the 1500 jobs that come with it.

Mehdi Morshed, Executive Director of the California High-Speed Rail Authority, said, "This the area where land is available so it is going to be somewhere in the valley. Exactly where we don't know yet."

Construction on the high-speed rail project could begin as early as next year.

Congressman Costa expects the valley segment to be one of the first to be worked on.

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