California High-Speed Rail Authority

Plans for high-speed rail in California are working their way through the system, locality by locality.

On May 7, on day two of a two-day meeting on the subject, the California High-Speed Rail Authority board approved the Fresno-Bakersfield section of the statewide passenger train system, making it the second section, according to the Fresno Bee. Engineering work has already begun on the first section: a 30-mile segment from Merced to Fresno.

This approval came despite the key complaint that the public had a very short time to sift through the 20,000-page environmental impact report before the hearing, as it was published less than three weeks ago.

The rail board hopes to begin construction work on this section by mid-2015. But before that happens, two different federal agencies -- the Federal Railroad Administration and the Surface Transportation Board -- must lend their approval.