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High Speed Rail Idea On The Slow Track

The cost of building a high-speed rail system in California is soaring so high that even supporters are wondering whether the project will ever be built.

The estimated price tag for the project has nearly doubled, with experts now saying the final price tag for the project could come to as much as $37 billion. High-speed rail officials say the project´s success is riding on both the approval of a bond measure coming up in the year 2006 that will be worth nearly ten billion dollars — and the government´s ability to match it.

But some experts say, even if the measure passes, it might be hard to find the extra money to finance the project. The state will need the bond and probably matching federal funds to build the rail system.

If the system is built, it will cover about 700 miles, linking San Francisco to Los Angeles, with extensions in the Bay Area, Central Valley and San Diego.