Feb 11, 2016 5:56 PM by News Staff
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Attorneys for Central Valley landowners are telling a Sacramento County judge that California's high-speed rail trains would not be fast enough to shuttle people between San Francisco and Los Angeles in two hours and 40 minutes as voters were told.
Attorney Stuart Flashman told a judge Thursday that the travel times rail officials are citing don't account for slowdowns in urban areas. He says the modeling also presumes speeds of 220 mph through the steep Tehachapi Mountains, which isn't possible.
Both sides are arguing the latest phase of a lawsuit over whether the $68 billion bullet train complies with what voters were promised in 2008.
Deputy Attorney General Sharon O'Grady argued the rail authority is legally allowed to rely on its own experts, who say the travel times are possible.
California's $68 billion high-speed rail project is back in court Thursday as state officials defend their plans.
Landowners in the Central Valley filed a lawsuit five years ago, arguing that the state's plans for the bullet train don't comply with promises made to voters about speed and funding.
Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny has asked attorneys for the state high-speed rail authority and the landowners to address several questions.
Kenny has been hearing arguments about the 2008 ballot measure approved by voters. It said California's high-speed rail would be able to whisk passengers between San Francisco and Los Angeles in two hours and 40 minutes, and that the system would not need a state subsidy to operate.
Opponents say current plans would not meet those requirements.
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