Thursday, July 12, 2012
California high-speed rail gets green light Madera to Bakersfield
California lawmakers gave the green light to start building the nation’s first dedicated high-speed rail line, a multibillion dollar project that will eventually link Los Angeles and San Francisco. This first link is proposed to be from Madera to Bakersfield, Ca. Madera is just north of Fresno, Ca. Madera has a population of 60 thousand, Fresno with 500,000 and Bakersfield a population of 350,000 according to 2010 census. This is certainly not a lot of traffic for an $8 billion project that will run along Hwy 99. The overall project once San Francisco and Los Angeles are connected will be $68 billion, a massive amount for a state that is operating in the red. The vote was along party lines with approval from labor and Governor Brown, yet no Republican voted for approval as they site the massive costs. The Los Angeles Times reported at the same time a French firm SNCF which operates high speed rail in France offered to assist in the construction, but organizers and lawmakers declined the offer as self serving. Governor Brown has pushed for the massive infrastructure project to accommodate expected growth in the nation's most populous state, which now has 37 million people. State and federal officials also said high-speed rail would create jobs. The bill authorizes the state to sell nearly half of a $10 billion high-speed rail bond that voters approved four years ago under Proposition 1A. In addition to financing the first segment of high-speed rail, it allocates a total of $1.9 billion in bonds for regional rail improvements in (Caltrain) Northern and the Metrolink in Southern California. A number of Democrats were not in favor of this project as there are no guarantees for future funding from Federal or private sources. All this aside what does it mean for the land investor? Well initially if you own land between Madera and Bakersfield then you have a potential buyer in your home or land. It also become a target for land and real estate speculators who will target to buy land along potential or proposed routes in the Central Valley and in the Antelope Valley. There are freight rail lines along this route which is more or less along Hwy 99. Most of this land now is less expensive land then land within the San Francisco Bay Area , or Greater Los Angeles. If you wanted a green light to speculate on land in the Central Valley then you have got a track to follow.