Calif. bullet train in limbo after legal setbacks

By By JULIET WILLIAMS

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Officials overseeing California's $68 billion high-speed rail project have taken pains in recent weeks to assure the public that construction plans are moving ahead, characterizing a series of recent setbacks as "a bump in the road."

That optimism comes despite recent court rulings against the project, creating confusion about the bullet train's prospects.

A Sacramento County judge invalidated the rail authority's business plan, forced it to show how it will pay for the first 300 miles of construction and rejected a request from the authority that would allow the state treasurer to sell $8.6 billion in bonds.

But the California High-Speed Rail Authority board's members seem undaunted. They praised staff for filling key positions at the agency and pointed to a nearly $1 billion construction contract as evidence of progress.

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