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Lawmakers request block of rail funds


California lawmakers on Capitol Hill this week sent a letter to Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao requesting to block pending federal funding to the California High Speed Rail project until an audit is completed regarding the finances.

The letter was signed by all 14 members of the state’s GOP contingent, including House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23), noting recent cost increases, reductions in the project’s scope and a failure to gather private funding. President Trump has called the plan an “out of control” aspect of California’s spending habits, but at the same time has vowed to increase the nation’s infrastructure spending.

The lawmakers want Chao to stop approval of a $650 million grant that the Transportation Department could make in about one week as part of an effort to install an electrical system for rail service in the Bay Area. The bullet train would eventually run from San Jose to San Francisco with further construction winding south to the Antelope Valley, a portion  of which McCarthy represents. The grant is a key  aspect of the $2 billion electrification funding, which also relies on some $750 in money from the California High Speed Rail Authority.

Palmdale residents can take an online survey about the High Speed Rail Multi-Modal Train Station proposed for the downtown area. Visit through Feb. 28 and click on “” to participate in the survey.

“We’ll use input from this survey to help us create a vision and plan for the future arrival of a multi-modal train station in the city of Palmdale,” said Mike Behen, manager of Palmdale Transportation and Special Projects. “It only takes a few minutes of your time, and your input is invaluable as we set the stage for Palmdale’s bright future.”

For more details about the Palmdale station, call (661) 267-5337 or email