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California High-Speed Rail

Brown Hoping To Lure Big Bucks From China

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Los Angeles, CA -

(FOX 11) Governor Brown is scheduled to depart for China on Tuesday, and he's been quoted as saying he would welcome investment dollars for California's bullet train project.

A recent federal report noted the $68 billion dollar project is about $40 billion dollars short.

Rail watchdog Morris Brown, who founded the grassroots rail watchdog group, Derail, tells our investigative producer Heidi Cuda that Chinese investors would be looking for a return on any rail investment and that their own high-speed rail has been a financial sinkhole.

"The big problem for the Authority is they're desperate for another stream of funding," says Brown. "The federal government has cut them off and this is sort of a last straw effort."

William Grindley, a business consultant who co-authored dozens of reports on high-speed rail and has closely scrutinized the costs, says Brown could be wasting his time.

"The Chinese are very wise to high-speed rail after having spent $350 billion dollars," he says. "They imprisoned the two senior officials in charge of the system, had massive corruption and had a crash that killed 41 people. Unless there are side agreements that include things the Chinese want—which may not be approved by the people of California—Governor Brown is wasting his time in China."

China invested $75 billion abroad last year, and two percent of that was here in California.

Brown's plans include opening a privately funded trade office in Shanghai.

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