U.S. bullet train proposals shun public funds, favor private cash

May 5, 2016

It took years of lawsuits and political battles for California to finally break ground last year on the nation’s first bullet train, which aims to connect San Francisco to Los Angeles by 2029. Website Insert 5000 New Seats copy

High-speed rail advocates had hoped the line, supported by more than $13 billion in state and federal money, would inspire similar government-financed projects. Instead, its many delays have left rail groups wary of accepting public funds for projects they are proposing in three other states.

Companies in Texas, Minnesota and Nevada all plan to tap private cash from investors globally, with help from foreign train makers and governments eager to export train technology. The projects would rely on partnerships with Japanese or Chinese firms that face saturated train markets at home.

“The United States is the Holy Grail of deployment for Japan, China, France, Germany and Spain,” said Tim Keith, Texas Central CEO.

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