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February 8th, 2010
The Next American System
[VIDEO] The Stop at Visalia

Even before President Barack Obama set aside $8 billion in federal stimulus funds last year for high-speed rail projects nationally, California voters in 2008 had already approved a $10 billion bond measure to begin construction of a statewide high-speed train network. California’s High-Speed Rail Authority is responsible for planning, constructing and operating a high-speed train system serving California’s major metropolitan areas.

Blueprint America: Beyond the Motor City (Feb. 8 at 10 pm) follows several members of the California High-Speed Rail Authority to Spain, where they tour that nation’s extensive high speed rail

visaliaVisalia, California || photo:  Amtrak California

system and learn about the challenges they face as they try to get the first American trains up and running — from Los Angeles to San Francisco — by the end of the decade.

In addition to connecting California’s key cities — San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento — high-speed rail will link some 20 smaller cities throughout the state. Leaders from many of those communities lobbied to get a train stop placed locally. The potential for the trains to link local economies to state and regional economies drove those efforts — and no one wanted to be passed by.

The agricultural community of Visalia – located 44 miles south of Fresno and nearly the midpoint between Sacramento and Los Angeles – was one such city.

Blueprint America followed Mayor Jesus Gamboa as he lobbied the California High-Speed Rail Authority for a train stop for Visalia.

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