Tags: california | morocco | bullet train

French Dropped California Train Bid For Less 'Dysfunctional' Morocco

Bullet Train
A Shinkansen Bullet Train in Japan. (The Yomiuri Shimbun via AP)

By    |   Monday, 10 October 2022 05:35 PM EDT

The French national rail company that dropped California's "bullet train" project for work in "less politically dysfunctional" North Africa has already completed a project in Morocco, according to The New York Times.

According to the Times, California was cautioned multiple times that its plans for a high-speed rail system were too complicated. SNCF — the French national railroad — was among the bullet train operators that traveled to the Golden State from Europe and Japan in the early 2000s to vie for a contract to help develop the system.

Dan McNamara, a career project manager for SNCF, told the Times that the company's recommendations for a direct route from Los Angeles to San Francisco were dismissed and the company pulled out of the project in 2011.

"There were so many things that went wrong," McNamara said. "SNCF was very angry. They told the state they were leaving for North Africa, which was less politically dysfunctional. They went to Morocco and helped them build a rail system."

Morocco's bullet train began service in 2018, according to SNCF.

Envisioned as an alternative to the state's notoriously gridlocked freeways, California voters first approved a bond issue for the $33 billion bullet train project in 2008 with an estimated completion year of 2020, according to the Times.

Costs for the ongoing project continue to mount and are projected to be as high as $113 billion, according to the California High-Speed Rail Authority.

The state's Democrat lawmakers — previously the high-speed rail project's base of support — and Gov. Gavin Newsom have expressed growing doubt about the bullet train's future.

"There is nothing but problems on the project," State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon recently said.

According to the Times, there is no identified source of funding for the $100 billion it will take to complete the rail project and Newsom has been hesitant to commit additional state financing to it.

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Newsfront
The French national rail company that dropped California's "bullet train" project for work in "less politically dysfunctional" North Africa has already completed a project in Morocco, according to The New York Times.
california, morocco, bullet train
313
2022-35-10
Monday, 10 October 2022 05:35 PM
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