California high speed rail chief resigns

RELATED TOPICS: CALIFORNIA | HIGH SPEED RAIL | PEOPLE | WEST
Trains Industry Newsletter
Get a weekly roundup of the industry news you need.
By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine. View our privacy policy.
Califhighspeed
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The head of the California High Speed Rail Authority is stepping down after five years. Jeff Morales, 57, tells The San Francisco Chronicle that uncertainty over the project’s future had nothing to do with his resignation, only a desire to move aside after breaking ground on the nation’s largest infrastructure project, which would connect Los Angeles and San Francisco with high speed rail service.

We’ve made a tremendous amount of progress, from being at a standstill to having $3 billion-plus of construction under way,” he said. “Frankly, I didn’t think I’d be here for five years. I had no gray hair when I started the job. I have lots of it now."

Morales sent his resignation letter to California Gov. Jerry Brown on April 21. He plans to remain chief executive officer of the California High Speed Rail Authority through June 2, long enough for his replacement to be found. The search for a successor has begun.

The agency has purchased more than 1,000 parcels of land and hired a handful of contractors to begin building 119 miles of line between Madera and Bakersfield. The project remains at least three years behind schedule, and a lack of funding threatens future progress.

Republicans in Congress have asked the Trump administration to withhold funding. In February, the Federal Transit Administration responded to the GOP by suspending $647 million for the electrification of Caltrain, a move that will be necessary in order for high-speed trains to make the final leg of their journey to San Francisco.

Last week the project succeeded in winning $1.25 billion through the sale of state bonds. The rail authority said it had spent or secured more than $20 billion to date and hopes to begin running limited service between Bakersfield and the Bay Area in 2025.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

  • Previous Day
  • April 25, 2017
  • Next Day
Leave a Comment
Want to leave a comment?
Only registered members of TrainsMag.com are allowed to leave comments. Registration is FREE and only takes a couple minutes.

Login or Register now.
Please keep your feedback on-topic and respectful. Trains staffers reserve the right to edit or delete any comments.
0 COMMENTS
Locomotives

Locomotives

Your resource for motive power in California, Florida and everywhere in between.
Subscriber only content
Subscriber-Only Content
Subscribe Up To 54% off the newsstand price!
Subscribe To Trains Mag Today
+